The best vacuum cleaners that’ll leave any home looking spick-and-span

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

Best vacuum cleaners

by Jade Moscrop |

Keeping a tidy house is one of life’s greatest displeasures. We spend hours scrubbing, mopping, tidying and sprucing just to do it again a week later, so it’s no wonder that more and more people are looking for ways to make the job as manageable as possible. Investing in a best-in-test vacuum cleaner can improve many areas of your life, from how clean your house really is, to how much time you spend each week doing the dirty work.

Here are our top vacuum cleaners for 2021:

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The Best Vacuum Cleaner 2021

While I’m a fan of knowing the detailed specs (and have included them below for you), having every tiny tidbit of information about the technical spec of a cleaner doesn’t always tell you what it’s like to really use the product. After identifying the top hoovers for each of our categories, we scoured the reviews to find out if they really are the best, so you can make a decision based on real people and their opinions.

Our test in detail:

Dyson V11 Absolute

Corded/cordless: Cordless

Power: 185 Air watts

Battery life: 60 minute run time

Weight: 2.97 kg

Bin capacity: 0.76L

Charge time: 4.5hr

Noise level: Eco mode - 71dB / Medium mode - 74.6dB / Boost mode - 84.6dB.

There's a reason Dyson is the biggest name in the vacuum world. With each new release, the brand betters itself and is constantly pushing the boundaries of technology.

The Dyson V11 Absolute is, without a doubt, THE best vacuum cleaner on the market today - but, that luxury comes with a hefty price tag. If you can afford to splash the cash, you'll find yourself with incredible suction power and an automatic cleaning mode which adjusts as you go, so there's no need to switch modes or brushes for the different surfaces.

Perhaps the most impressive feature is the handy LED screen, which tells you exactly how much battery you have remaining and shows you how to fix any errors with handy little videos. No more guesswork!

Say goodbye to Dyson's previous Low, Medium and Max modes, because Eco, Medium and Boost are in. Jump for joy when you spot the accessory clip that allows you to store some of the accessories on the device itself. Users of the Dyson V11 Absolute state that it's a "life-changing appliance" and that it's the "best hoover I have ever used". That says it all really.

The only con for this hoover is that the battery isn't removable/replaceable, so there's no way of purchasing another one to have charged up for when you've got a big day of cleaning ahead. A small price to pay for an exceptional piece of kit, though.

MooSoo Cordless Vacuum Cleaner 17000Pa

Corded/cordless: Cordless

Power: 22.2V/2200mAh

Battery life: 30 mins run time

Weight: 1.28kg

Bin capacity: 0.4L

Charge time: 4hr

Noise level: 65dB

While some may think that a budget-friendly cordless vacuum cleaner is a waste of time and money, MooSoo's 17000Pa reviews suggest otherwise.

This ultra-light hoover has built-in nylon and soft bristles so tackle hard floors and carpets and comes with a number of brushes and nozzles to tackle cars and upholstery.

The 4-stage HEPA filtration system is renowned for capturing allergens and particles and what's refreshing about this model is the removable battery, which makes way for a spare (sold separately) to combat the low run time. It smoothly switches to a handheld hoover and back with minimal effort.

Reviewers have mentioned the on/off switch as a plus (meaning there's no button to be held down), as well as the LED light that helps the user to see all the dust in those hidden corners. They also love that it's quiet, has two power settings and excellent suction power.

As mentioned, the run time is lower than some other cordless options, and the bin is quite small, so will need emptying regularly.

Shark Upright Vacuum Cleaner NV601UKT

Corded/cordless: Corded

Power: 750 watts

Weight: 6.2kg

Bin capacity: 1.65 litres

Noise level: 80dB

Ask any pet owner about their main struggle when it comes to pets and they're bound to say: the hair. The Shark NV601UKT comes with Lift-Away technology, meaning it doubles up as a handheld and upright vacuum clean, perfect for getting those hard to reach spots.

Specifically suited to pet owners, the Pet Power Brush is ideal for sofas, carpets, bedding and cars. As it's corded, you don't need to worry about battery life, but with an 8m cord, you should have plenty of room to work with. Complete with plenty of extra tools, a 4-Stage HEPA Filtration system, and an easy to work surface switching method, it's a great all-rounder.

Reviewers have been raving about the Shark for being "surprisingly light", but have warned users to ensure all cables are safely tucked away before hoovering due to its powerful suction. Other perks include the LED lights, the blockage warning system, and the "all-new" feeling they found their carpets had after using it.

Cons for this hoover include its size and its inability to fit into small gaps, as well as the tie-up cord - some would prefer a snap-back system.

Miele 10660820 Complete C3 PowerLine Bagged Vacuum Cleaner

Corded/cordless: Corded

Power: 890 watts

Weight: 7.26kg

Bag capacity: 4.5L

Noise level: 76dB

Designed to tackle even the most ferocious of carpets, the Miele 10660820 is great for attacking the mess that pets leave behind, which means it will absolutely be able to take on the normal mess of a home, too.

This cylinder vacuum has brilliant suction power, with some reviewers saying it's so strong, they can actually feel and see their carpet lifting underneath. With a universal floorhead and turbo brush, it ploughs through dirt and hair with ease. The Active AirClean filter neutralises odours and it comes with a number of accessories to combat the whole house.

One nifty addition is the all-round bumper, made from soft synthetic material. If you've ever bashed a table leg or wall with a hoover, this will be a welcome surprise. The 8.5m comfort cable rewind means you don't have to awkwardly bend down and mess around with the cable, and it actually stands upright on the stairs.

As this hoover it bagged, it holds a lot of dust and dirt and is mess-free when it's time to change the bag, although, replacing these is an additional cost. Reviewers also stated that it can be heavy to carry up the stairs and that the cord is a bit of a pain when cleaning the car.

Coredy Robot Vacuum Cleaner

Corded/cordless: Cordless

Power: 28 watts

Battery life: 120 minutes runtime

Weight: 4.16kg

Bin capacity: 0.5L

Noise level: 50-55dB

Designed to take the hard work out of keeping on top of the dirt in your house, robotic vacuum cleaners are having a real moment. Super slim to get into those hard to reach places, the Coredy Robot Vacuum Cleaner provides strong suction, is ultra-quiet and ultra-thin.

Ideal if you have pets and/or children, it smoothly glides over hard floor and carpet to cut down your workload. It even keeps itself charged, returning to its docking station when low on battery or when it's done the cleaning.

With a remote control to automate the cleaning and change the settings and a vertical drop sensor so it doesn't dive off the top step, you can't help but feel giddy about owning something that feels like it should be in a Men in Black film.

The downside to having a vacuum like this is that you will probably need a bigger vacuum to tackle those spring cleaning sessions, and the dust compartment isn't very big. You also need to ensure the room is clear or risk losing cables to its robotic grasp.

SEBO Automatic X1.1 ECO Vacuum Cleaner

Corded/cordless: Corded

Power: 1100W

Weight: 7.3kg

Bin capacity: 5.3 L

Noise level: 81dB

Although it looks a little traditional and outdated, don't let the exterior fool you. The SEBO Automatic X1.1 ECO is packed with innovative tech and features to make keeping your house dust-free a doddle.

The on-board computer controls the powered height adjustment system, so it can automatically adjust to the floor surface it's on - you'll be alerted to this via the lights on the information display. If there's a blockage, you'll see a red light and if ignored, the hoover will shut down to prevent damage.

Allergy sufferers can rest easy knowing that the S-Class Filtration System keeps dust particles trapped in the multi-layer electrostatic fleece bag rather than being released into the air. The bag retains bacteria, allergens and other potentially harmful substances for safe disposal and even the air that comes out of the hoover is filtered to ensure purity.

For ease of use, the SEBO has a super long 10m cable, handles on the front and rear and onboard storage for the additional nozzles. Replacing the brush rollers and changing the bags and filters is easily done, without the need for tools. It also will work when almost completely flat, meaning you can get underneath sofas and beds.

Reviewers note that although being a great piece of kit, it is pretty heavy, which makes transporting it up and down the stairs a difficult task. As the accessory hose is attached to the top of the hoover rather than the bottom, another reviewer warned that it could topple over if pulled with force.

What type of vacuum cleaner is for you?

I was given a cordless hoover as a housewarming present last year (shout out to my LOVELY parents) and it has honestly changed my life. It’s lightweight, incredibly powerful and literally cuts the time spent hoovering in half. It’s a dream and it meets my needs perfectly - but that doesn’t mean that it would suit everyone.

So, let’s talk about the type of hoover you need and the pros and cons of each one.

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.

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.

Cylinder vacuum cleaners

Pros: Generally smaller, lighter and more affordable than upright hoovers, 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.

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 hoovers are hygienic and a good option for those with allergies as they stop the dirt from being released into the air (or all over your carpet if you’re clumsy, like me) 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 and when it’s full, but if damaged, they can be costly to replace.

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