The best vacuum cleaner: From cordless to handheld 2024

If your old vacuum is just collecting dust, it could be time to move on to a new model.

Vacuum cleaning

by Ellen Kinsey |
Updated on

Keeping a clean and tidy house can be a chore, but it doesn't have to be with a decent vacuum cleaner. Having the right tools, you can make the job much easier and more efficient, so you can get the task at hand done - pronto. That's where the best vacuum cleaners come in - they not only improve the cleanliness of your home but also save you time and effort in the long run. Whether you prefer a cordless stick vacuum, a powerful upright vacuum, or a smart robot vacuum, here are the best vacuum cleaners on the market that can meet your specific needs and preferences.

Vacuuming is nobody's favourite chore. But we're determined to make it at least bearable by choosing smart, innovative and lightweight models. We want you to be ready to tackle everything from cobwebs to crumbs with no problems. In our guide to the best vacuum cleaners, we cover what you should be looking for and explain what the different types are. Plus, we answer your burning questions - such as bag or bagless? All this - and more below...

Best vacuum cleaners at a glance:

• Best cylinder vacuum: Miele Complete C3 Vacuum Cleaner — View now on Amazon
• Best upright vacuum: Hoover HL5 Upright Vacuum Cleaner — View now on Amazon
• Best handheld vacuum: Shark Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner — View now on Currys
Best high-performance cordless vacuum: Dyson V15 Detect Cordless Vacuum Cleaner — View now on Currys

Ultimately, the type of vacuum cleaner you choose will depend on your personal preferences and needs. Consider factors like the size of your home, the type of flooring you have, pet hair and allergies. Luckily, there are hoovers for pet hair, which could make spring a sneeze-free breeze. With so many great options available, you're sure to find a vacuum cleaner that meets your needs and makes cleaning a breeze.

With so many types of vacuum cleaners available out there, it can be overwhelming to decide which one is right for you. So with that in mind, let's take a look at the best cordless, upright, cylinder, handheld, and robot vacuums on the market to keep your home in tip-top shape. We've listed some vacuums from Shark and other reliable brands.

The best vacuum cleaners

Best cordless vacuum cleaners

The ultimate, convenient solution to tricky cords getting in the way of a clean...

Best high-performance cordless vacuum

This is one of the best Dyson vacuums in terms of its power and performance. This Dyson V15 Detect cordless vacuum is packed full of features, including an impressive hour-long battery life, a powerful 230 air-watt suction motor, and 5-stage filtration to capture 99.99 per cent of dust particles. It also features laser dust technology which adjusts suction power as needed based on the amount and size of dust particles on your floor. The LCD screen on the vacuum keeps you informed of the amount of dirt you've collected while cleaning.

Customer review: "I have been using the V15 for a couple of weeks now, and it is powerful and flexible. The feature that prevents hair wrapping around the head is effective, and the particle counter helps to track how much cleaning has been needed. The LED lights make cleaning in nooks and crannies more effective. Glad that I upgraded!"

Read our full tried and tested Dyson V15 Detect review


  • Laser dust technology ensures a deep clean
  • Decent running time
  • Comes with an additional three attachment heads
  • Suitable for all flooring


  • Takes a while to charge

Best all-in-one vacuum cleaner


Swan Dirtmaster Crossover All-in-One Hard Floor Cleaner
Price: £184.99 (was £249.99)

Offering hassle-free cleaning across different flooring, the Swan Dirtmaster Crossover All-in-One Hard Floor Cleaner simultaneously washes and vacuums for maximum efficiency. It can move from wood and laminate to vinyl with ease and it can even freshen carpets and rugs. It has a detachable battery for up to 45 minutes of cleaning too. We love that it's cordless so there's no tripping!

This product is currently being tested by one of our Commercial Content Writers.


  • Self cleaning
  • Smart LED display
  • Vacuums and washes at the same time


  • You do have to charge it between uses

Best cordless vacuum (Editor's choice)

Dyson V11 Absolute Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
Price: £536.70

The Dyson V11 Absolute Cordless Vacuum Cleaner is, without a doubt, one of the top vacuum cleaners on the market today. So if you are looking for a versatile and powerful vacuum that can tackle any surface in your home? Look no further than this Dyson. With extra soft, woven nylon roller cleaner heads, this vacuum is gentle on delicate hard floors and tough on dirt. It can easily handle everything from hard floors and laminate tiles and woollen carpets and pick up large crumbs and dust.

Customer review: "Honestly, this vacuum cleaner has transformed my domestic life. I'm in my 70s and pretty mobile, but the lightness of the cleaner and being cordless has just made cleaning almost a pleasure rather than a chore. I've even found out what every attachment does thanks to a YouTube video - the first time I've ever done this. The attachment that cleans skirting boards is just brilliant!"


  • Incredibly light
  • Fantastic suction
  • Easy to use


  • Not that ergonomic

Best cordless vacuum for cleaning hair

Take on any surface with the versatile Shark Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Stick vacuum cleaner. Reach every corner of your home with ease thanks to the flexible wand, which easily gets under low-lying furniture without you having to bend. You can even convert it into a handheld model with two additional attachments to reach every nook and cranny. But the real standout feature is its anti-hair wrap technology. With a unique comb and bristle guard, it removes long, short and pet hair from the brush roll as you clean, preventing tangles and keeping your vacuum cleaner performing at its best.

Customer review: "So, after hours of researching the Sharks, I decided to go for this one. It was on offer and a great bargain. I have wanted a cordless for a long time, and so far, I am not disappointed. It was so easy to put together, and once I had charged battery off I went. My house was done in no time, and considering I vacuum every day with Hetty, I soon filled the bin. The light on the shark highlights places Hetty did not do. I love it and so glad I purchased. The small part is fab for stairs and sofa.


  • The wand bends for compact, freestanding storage
  • Removes hair from the brush roll as you clean to keep it tangle free
  • Five-year guarantee


  • Heavier compared to others

Best cordless vacuum for homes with pets

Dyson V8 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
Price: £229 (was £330)

The Dyson V8 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner may be whisper-quiet, but it's still a mighty machine. With up to 40 minutes of powerful suction and de-tangling technology, it's the perfect choice for pet owners. Its advanced filtration system can capture dust and seal in microscopic particles as small as 0.3 microns, making it one of the best vacuums for those with allergies or sensitivities.

Customer review: "So pleased I made the decision to buy this particular Dyson. It's just perfect for my needs. Great for stairs and can also use different attachments for cleaning inside the car. The attachments can be changed without a struggle. Purchased a cheaper brand previously... that was a big mistake!!"


  • Comes with a wall-mounted charging dock
  • Great for homes with pets because of its de-tangling technology
  • Three power modes


  • Some reviewers found the battery drained quite quickly when using it on MAX power

Best cordless vacuum on a budget

If you're looking for a budget-friendly option, the Bush 25.2 Volts cordless vacuum cleaner is definitely worth considering. Its sleek and modern design will look great in any home, and it's incredibly lightweight, making it easy to use on all types of flooring. It also has an Eco mode which can extend its runtime to 45 minutes, perfect for larger cleaning jobs.

Additionally, it comes with useful attachments such as the crevice and nozzle tool and can be converted to a handheld vacuum for even greater flexibility. With its multi-filtration system, you can be sure that every nook and cranny of your home will be free of dust and debris.

Customer review: "I wasn't sure what to expect with this, as it was so much cheaper than any of the other stick vacuum cleaners. I'm really surprised how powerful it is. I'd highly recommend it for the price. I'd give it 10/10 for price and performance."


  • Attractive design
  • Brilliant battery life
  • Comes with a great range of accessories to assist with your cleaning needs
  • Lightweight


  • Takes a very long time to charge

Best cordless all-in-one vacuum, mop, and steam

Designed to clean hard floors and medium-pile carpets, the MACH V1 Ultra is an all-in-one vacuum, mop, and steam cleaner that can tackle any floor mess, wet or dry. Boasting 99.9 per cent germ removal thanks to heated steam and aqueous ozone - this efficient cordless vacuum is perfect for hardwood floors. Plus, the Eco-Clean Ozone feature makes it a safe choice for households with pets and children. It features two water tanks and a compartment for its proprietary cleaning solution The innovative Always Clean Mop washes while cleaning, avoiding recontamination, while the triple self-cleaning system ensures a thoroughly clean and dry device post-use. The box includes extra accessories too.

Our review: "The smart vacuum is one of those extra luxuries in your home that you don't necessarily need - but once you use it, you can't go back. The first time you power the Mach V1 Ultra, the LCD screen guides you through the basic functions. The device operates in three modes: A smart mode for simultaneous vacuuming and mopping, a suction-only mode and a power-intensive steam mode. The package also includes a bottle of the brand's cleaning solution.


  • Vacuums, mops, and steam-cleans hardwood floors and carpets
  • Automatically self-cleans, sterilises, and dries its roller brush
  • Air dries flooring
  • Industry's First TÜV Rheinland Certification


  • Best used on hardwood floors

Best corded vacuums

You can't go wrong with a corded vacuum... You don't have to sit around and wait for your cleaner to charge.

Best cylinder vacuum

The Miele Complete C3 Cat and Dog PowerLine Bagged Vacuum Cleaner is a powerful cylinder vacuum designed to handle pet mess and all household dirt, thanks to its strong suction power, universal floorhead, and turbo brush. Its Active AirClean filter neutralises odours, and the all-around bumper protects furniture. With an 8.5m comfort cable rewind and standing upright on stairs, this vacuum is easy to use, though reviewers mentioned that it can be heavy to carry upstairs, and the cord can be difficult when cleaning a car. The bagged design is mess-free, but replacing bags is an additional cost.

**Customer review: "**Bought this MIELE recently and am very pleased with the performance. The hoover was recommended to me as we have a long-haired cat which moults continually, and it is proving very effective in removing the cat hairs from carpets, floors and upholstery. It is fairly light and very easy to move around, glides over floors. So far, very pleased."


  • Being a bagged vacuum, it's hygienic to empty as the dust bag can be disposed of straight into the bin.
  • Tested for the equivalent of 20 years' use
  • Excellent for pet hair


  • At 9.4 kg, it's heavier than some other models on the market

Best upright vacuum

Hoover Upright Vacuum Cleaner with Anti-Twist
Price: £120.95

If you would like a corded vacuum cleaner, then this Hoover HL5 Upright model is a breeze to use with its easy-to-navigate controls and instructions. You can turn on the carpet brush with a simple switch and convert it into a portable vacuum for stairs with the press of a foot pedal. Its comfortable handle makes cleaning large spaces less of a chore, and it glides effortlessly across all floor types. In terms of performance, it excels in dust pick-up across all surfaces and particularly stands out in lifting pet hair with its anti-twist technology that prevents hair from getting stuck in the brush head.

Customer review: "I cannot speak highly enough of this machine. It does in 10 minutes what my old one did in an hour. It is effortless. I have to empty the dust canister after every use, but that is because it picks up dog hair, so it is not surprising and no real hardship. The extra-long cord means I don't have to plug and unplug around the house. For the money, this vacuum cleaner is exceptional. Thank you Hoover!"


  • No run time
  • Suitable for all floor types


  • Slightly heavy

Best handheld vacuum cleaners

Best handheld vacuum for wet and dry cleaning

BELDRAY Wet & Dry BEL0676 Handheld Vacuum Cleaner - Dark Grey & Copper
Price: £31.99 (was £34.99)

This Beldray Cordless Wet and Dry Handheld vacuum cleaner offers the ultimate convenience in cleaning. Its lightweight design makes it perfect for quick clean-ups, and with the ability to tackle dust and liquid spillages, it's a versatile tool for any home. With up to 20 minutes of running time and a wall-mountable charging base, this vacuum cleaner is always ready to go. The 0.5l dust capacity means it can handle plenty of dirt and debris before needing to be emptied.

Customer review: "Really handy, lightweight and reaches areas other vacuum cleaners don't. Ideal for cleaning inside the car. Easy to operate, easy to empty, and takes up very little space."


  • Lightweight
  • Decent dust capacity


  • Short run time

Best handheld vacuum

The Shark Cordless Handheld Vacuum has a stylish appearance and an efficient HEPA filter system that can eliminate 99.97% of the dust. Its charging base can store it while it's charging, and its one-touch dust cup makes emptying a breeze. Although the vacuum has a shorter battery life, providing up to 8 minutes of runtime per charge, it may not be suitable for longer cleaning sessions.

Customer review: "How have I not had this in my life until now? Wow, what a wonderfully powerful, sleek vacuum cleaner. It is perfect for the kitchen, vacuuming up crumbs and bits in between the usual weekly clean. Great for small spaces and brilliant on stairs. Extremely powerful. Looks great in my kitchen as a gadget. Slimline, sleek and takes up very little space. Was so impressed I had to get one for my mum, who also loves it. Great item for any household."


  • HEPA filter system
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Short charging time


  • Short run time

Best robot vacuums

Best overall robot vacuum

The Eufy Robovac is a smart robot vacuum that automatically adjusts suction power for an effective clean. With its dual sensors, it's able to detect Boundary Strips to ensure it only cleans the areas you want, and the drop-sensing technology prevents it from falling off ledges or down the stairs.

Customer review: "Eufy arrived and surprised us all, he had a little venture out, cleaned the kitchen, and returned perfectly to his charging base (only 1/2 charged). The next scheduled clean happened overnight, and we were all surprised to see the house looking thoroughly swept with no issues (we have a Labrador who often leaves piles of hair everywhere). Even under the sofa, chairs and tv stand ... everywhere had been vacuumed.


  • Powerful and quiet
  • Alexa and Google Assistant support
  • Includes boundary tape
  • Suitable for pet hair


  • No laser room mapping
  • No mop

Best robot vacuum and mop

This robot vacuum and mop is ideal for various types of floors, leaving them spotless. You can control it through the app or connect it to Alexa or Google Assistant. With the auto-return cleaning feature, the eufy RoboVac G30 Hybrid will return to its charging point and resume cleaning after recharging. Plus, the app will show you where the RoboVac has cleaned.

Customer review: "One of the best RoboVacs I have used, it does both mopping and hovering. Perfect mopping for my porcelain tiles, perfect hovering on my carpets. Battery life is good. The way it covers the area is perfect. I have tested about five different make and models, finally settled for this. So far it's amazing, thoroughly recommended."

Read our full tried and tested Eufy Robovac G30 Hybrid Robotic Vacuum Cleaner review


  • Good value
  • Offers two different cleaning modes, including a mop function, which is a unique feature.
  • Smartphone compatible


  • The mop function and suction power is weak


What type of vacuum is right for me?

The traditional upright vacuum cleaner is a popular choice for many homeowners, as it provides powerful suction and an adjustable bar that can work on carpets. Plus, it's a vacuum that cleans hard floors well. However, if you're looking for something more lightweight and versatile, a cordless vacuum cleaner may be a better option.

Cordless vacuum cleaners offer greater freedom of movement, as you're not restricted by a cord and can move around your home with ease. They're ideal for quick and easy cleaning, and many models come with a range of attachments that allow you to clean hard-to-reach areas like corners and crevices.

Vacuum cleaners

Another option is a robot vacuum cleaner, which can automatically clean your floors for you. These devices use sensors to navigate around your home, avoiding obstacles and cleaning as they go. They're the best vacuum cleaners for busy households or anyone who wants to save time on their cleaning routine.

What to consider when choosing the best vacuum cleaner

In our quest to help you find the best vacuum cleaner for your home, we're here to get you acquainted with the different types. So, we have noted down some pros and cons of each type of vacuum to help you find the best fit for you. Hopefully, this will serve you well...

Stick vacuum cleaners

Pros: Allowing you to move around furniture with ease, lightweight stick vacuums have risen in popularity over the years. Corded or cordless, they're slim and great for those with limited storage space. Simple to empty, they usually have multiple power options so you can tailor the device to your needs.

Cons: Despite all their positives, some stick vacuums just don't have the power that an upright vacuum can offer and cordless options can be limited on run time.

Upright vacuum cleaners

Pros: The most traditional and popular choice, upright vacuums are ideal for giving carpets a good deep clean. With bagged and bagless options to choose from, they're easy to store and use.

Cons: Generally heavier than other types of vacuum, these can be a bit of a nightmare to transport up and down the stairs and don't always give you the flexibility to get into the tight nooks and crannies without using the additional brush heads and tools.

Cylinder vacuum cleaners

Pros: Generally smaller, lighter and more affordable than upright vacuums, cylinder vacuum cleaners are easy to move around the home and can be used on a variety of surfaces with ease. Bagged or bagless, their flexible hose design means that reaching curtains and other hard-to-reach places can be easily done.

Cons: Although lighter than upright cleaners, these models can still be hard to manoeuvre, especially up and down the stairs. Some users also find that they need to bend down more and that it takes more effort than using an upright.

Automatic vacuum cleaner on living room floor
©Photo: Getty Images

Robotic vacuum cleaners

Pros: The future has arrived - robots are doing our cleaning for us! These nifty little automatic vacuums will scoot around your house to keep it dust-free with minimal effort from its owner. Usually remote-controlled or programmed, they're brilliant for cleaning up after kids or pets and getting underneath and around furniture.

Cons: As useful as they are (and totally mesmerising to watch, by the way), their cleaning power doesn't really compare to a full-sized vacuum. As they're newer tech, they're expensive and must have a tidy room to clean properly.

Handheld vacuum cleaners

Pros: Handheld vacuum cleaners are perfect for those who need a quick clean-up without dragging out their full-sized vacuum cleaner. They're lightweight, portable, and easy to manoeuvre, making them ideal for spot cleaning and reaching tricky areas like stairs, upholstery, and car interiors. They're also great for picking up spills and messes in a hurry, making them a lifesaver for busy families and pet owners.

Cons: Handheld vacuum cleaners typically have a smaller capacity and battery life than their larger counterparts, meaning they may only be able to tackle bigger cleaning jobs if they are recharged or emptied. They may also not have the same suction power as full-sized vacuums. So, they might struggle with deep cleaning carpets or picking up larger debris. Finally, they can be quite noisy and may not be suitable for those who prefer a quieter cleaning experience.

Bag or bagless?

While bagged vacuum cleaners might seem outdated, many people prefer them as they make the job a much cleaner one. Easily replaceable, bagged vacuums are hygienic and a good option for those with allergies as they stop the dirt from being released into the air when being emptied.

Of course, there is a cost involved with replacing the bags as often as needed, which should be taken into account.

Bagless vacuum cleaners offer pretty much the opposite experience; while being cheap to maintain as you don't have to replace the bags, they can be messy when you come to empty them. As many canisters tend to be see-through, it's ideal for checking if you've picked up anything you shouldn't have. When it's full, but if damaged, they can be costly to replace.

Are bagless vacuum cleaners better than bagged ones?

It depends on your personal preference. The best vacuum cleaner for you may have a bag - it may not. Bagless vacuum cleaners are more convenient because you don't have to buy and replace bags, but they can be messier to empty and clean. Bagged vacuum cleaners are more hygienic, but you must purchase and replace bags regularly.

What type of vacuum cleaner is best for pet hair?

If you have pets, you'll want a vacuum that can tackle pet hair. Look for a model with solid suction power, a good filtration system, and attachments specifically for pet hair, such as a motorised brush or a crevice tool.

How often should I replace the filter on my vacuum cleaner?

It depends on the type of vacuum cleaner and how often you use it. As a general rule, replace the filter every three to six months. However, if you have pets or allergies or use your vacuum cleaner frequently, you may need to replace the filter more often.

What's the difference between an upright and a cylinder vacuum?

Upright vacuum cleaners are designed for larger spaces and are typically easier to manoeuvre. Cylinder vacuum cleaners are better for smaller spaces and are more versatile, as they come with attachments for cleaning furniture, stairs, and hard-to-reach areas.

Ellen Kinsey is a senior health and wellness product writer for Yours, specialising in natural health and beauty. She lives and breathes all things food, travel and wellness.


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