Comparison of vacuum cleaners: 11 Best Vacuums of 2023, Tested & Reviewed by Cleaning Experts

10 Best Vacuum Cleaners of 2023

Best Overall Upright Vacuum

Shark Stratos

$400 at Amazon

Dust Bin Type: Bagless | Cleaning Path Width: 9.5″


Great carpet cleaning

Spectacular hard surface cleaning

Convenient to use

Highly maneuverable



The Shark Stratos stands out as one of the top upright vacuums available in the market today thanks to its exceptional cleaning performance, effortless maneuverability, and convenient lift-away feature. Shark has continuously improved its duo clean technology, equipping the Stratos with a dual brush roll system that effectively eliminates dirt and debris from various surfaces, including hard floors and carpets. No matter the type of flooring, you can expect beautifully cleaned surfaces. The lift-away feature enhances usability by enabling easy cleaning of stairs, accessing tight spaces under furniture, and reaching challenging spots.

Our evaluation of the Shark Stratos revealed very few shortcomings. Only through rigorous side-by-side comparisons was our team able to identify minor criticisms. We do think it could benefit from a slight improvement in its edging ability and a reduction in weight. Though, it still leaves carpets looking expertly clean, and you are unlikely to notice any issues at the edges. Overall, the Shark Stratos is an exceptional vacuum cleaner, leaving little room for improvement.

Read more: Shark Stratos review

The Shark Stratos left no crumbs behind in any of our carpet cleaning tests.

Credit: Abriah Wofford

Most Economical Upright Vacuum

Shark Navigator Lift Away

$195 at Amazon

Dust Bin Type: Bagless | Cleaning Path Width: 11.25″


Great maneuverability

Picked up almost all pet hair

Reasonably priced


Requires some additional passes

The Shark Navigator Lift Away took the top spot in our testing for its affordability and impressive performance. This model is extremely easy to handle and move around corners. Additional premium features of this model include a HEPA filter (so that dust and debris won’t fly out of the vacuum) and a ‘Lift Away’ mode, which allows users to take apart the vacuum and use it as a handheld vacuum. These two features are commonly seen on more premium upright vacuums, and you’ll rarely see them at this price point.

Although the Shark Lift Away is a stronger performer, we did notice a couple of flaws. It took us a couple of extra tries to pick up debris on both hardwood flooring and carpets. This will admittedly require a bit more of your time, but not much. Overall, this vacuum is great for anyone on a budget who doesn’t want to sacrifice quality features.

Read more: Shark Navigator Lift Away review

The ‘Lift Away’ feature on the Shark Navigator is very simple.

Credit: Chris McNamara

Best All-Around Stick Vacuum

Shark Rocket Pet Pro

$300 at Amazon

Power Source: Battery | Cleaning Path Width: 10 ¼”


Easy to use

Great at removing pet hair



Relatively loud

The Shark Pet Pro was one of the top performers in the stick vacuum review. This stand-up stick vacuum works like a full-sized machine — but is much easier to handle — leaving us with few critiques about its performance. This machine handles hair extremely well because the brush penetrates the carpet to extract hair while the agitator self-cleans. The Pet Pro comes with crevice, brush, and pet tools for furniture and stairs. Also, the “stick” portion of the machine can be removed, turning it into a handheld vacuum — a real plus for vehicle cleaning. The unit is just eight pounds, it has an easy-to-swap battery that lasts up to 21 minutes (in economical mode), and it has a swift recharge time of just 2.5 hours. The Pro does well on both hard and soft surfaces, large and small debris, and its 37″ articulating shaft makes it easy to get under the couch or bed without getting on your hands and knees.

The performance of the Shark Pet Pro is rather impressive. Our only criticism is that this machine is a bit loud compared to other models, and pushing the vacuum straight into a wall leaves a small gap that the agitator could not reach. However, run the agitator perpendicular to the wall, and there is almost no gap. As a bonus, the Pet Pro is freestanding — a rarity among stick vacuums — so it will stand at attention until the next time you need it.

Read more: Shark Pet Pro review

The Shark Pet Pro is a well-designed, high-quality device that can clean-up the toughest of messes.

Credit: Laura Casner

Top Premium Stick Vacuum

Shark Stratos Cordless

$352 at Amazon

Power Source: Battery | Cleaning Path Width: 10.25″


Superb cleaning performance

Folds up

Multiple power settings


No charging indicator


The Shark Stratos Cordless seamlessly tackles whatever mess is placed in front of it, regardless of the surface. This model gives other stick vacuums a run for their money, as it picked up almost all the oats and rice spilled throughout our testing area. A simple click of a button allows the system to transition into a handheld model for cleaning non-floor surfaces like couch cushions or car seats. This cordless model won’t be limited to locations with power outlets, so you can easily float this around the entire house without needing to replug. The machine has average maneuverability, but you should have no trouble getting around furniture and tight corners. It boasts an impressive battery life, with power settings ranging from eco to boost. When all the cleaning is done and you’re ready to relax, this system folds down, easily packing away into tight places.

The Stratos Cordless should last the entirety of your cleaning unless you exclusively run it on boost mode. When docked to charge, there’s no indicator to let you know its charge level. Instead, you have to turn it on to see what power percentage it has. It isn’t the easiest to get started with an inconveniently placed button, and it weighs in at 8.9 pounds. However, much of that weight is held in the brush head. Additionally, it’s on the pricier side. This is quite an impressive machine and we think the investment will be worth the extra cleaning power and performance.

Read more: Shark Stratos Cordless review

With just a click of a button, the Stratos Cordless transitions into a handheld vacuum for easy couch cushion cleaning.

Credit: Abriah Wofford

Best Overall Canister Vacuum

Eureka WhirlWind

$80 at Amazon

Power Source: Plug-in | Cleaning Path Width: 10 ½”


Easy to use

Good performance on hard surfaces


Struggles with pet hair

Requires bags

If you want one of the best canister vacuums at an affordable price point, the Eureka WhirlWind is a top choice. This model was one of the absolute best performers in our best canister vacuum review. We were impressed by its ability to plow through cereal, oatmeal, and flour in our hard surface and carpet cleaning tests. At 11 pounds, this vacuum cleaner is also one of the easiest to carry up and down stairs. We appreciated this model for its impressive cleaning performance, handling, and ease of use.

Pet owners may want to go with another unit unless they are on a tight budget. Unfortunately, the pet hair performance was lackluster due to the absence of a brush roller. But, if you’re looking for an affordable vacuum and don’t mind making a few more passes to collect pet hair, the WhirlWind may be a viable choice.

Read more: Eureka WhirlWind review

Credit: Abriah Wofford

Best Carpet Cleaning Canister Vacuum

Miele Compact C1 Turbo

$441 at Amazon

Power Source: Plug-in | Cleaning Path Width: 10 ¾”


Good at removing pet hair




The Miele Compact C1 Turbo is an all-around top-performing, albeit expensive, canister vacuum. The machine’s key feature is a floor cleaning attachment with a rolling brush (agitator) that makes it more like an upright vacuum cleaner while maintaining the advantages and simplicity of a canister unit. Given the benefits of having an agitator, we were not surprised that the Turbo did well on carpets of all pile lengths (but particularly on the shorter variety) and most debris types. Its swivel head makes it more maneuverable than most canister units, too, while its floor attachment does reasonably well at collecting debris in corners and against baseboards. While this unit performed well across the board, it shined when picking up flour (fine debris) and the toughest debris of all — pet hair.

Although the Miele Compact C1 Turbo excelled at tackling some of the toughest messes, its performance dropped a degree when cleaning larger debris (like rice and cereal) from the fluffier varieties of carpet, requiring more passes than other machines. We also felt that the Turbo was a tad fiddly when switching between attachments. Its ease of use was further impacted by its middling weight of 15.2 pounds — not the heaviest but certainly not the lightest either. Despite this, the Turbo does a great job reaching under low furniture and has a maximum reach of 30 feet for an outlet to the attachment. If this vacuum cleaner fits your budget, it’s a great buy, particularly for pet owners with loads of carpeting.

Read more: Miele Compact C1 Turbo review

Credit: Abriah Wofford

Best Overall Handheld Vaccuum

Black+Decker Flex Vac BDh3020FL

$100 at Amazon

Power Source: Battery | Cleaning Path Width: 1 3/16″ (hose end)


Good in tight spots

Good with pet hair


So-so battery life

Two-handed operation

The Black+Decker Flex Vac BDh3020FL does a lot for a handheld vacuum, and that’s because it’s a lot like a miniature canister vacuum. This model was a top performer in our best handheld vacuum review. The machine has an accordion hose for long reaches, multiple attachments for those hard-to-reach places, and high airflow through its 1 3/16 inch hose end. The Flex Vac did well sucking up animal hair and large debris, such as Mini-Wheats cereal, without clogging. Moreover, the little vac did a great job cleaning deep cracks and crevices (easily reaching 36″ into a 3″ gap), and it did above average in cleaning dusty surfaces with a brush attachment.

While we were impressed with the overall performance of the Flex Vac, it is not without some shortcomings. Specifically, it is loud enough to strain conversation. Also, it struggles with heavy, caked-on dirt as you would find on the floorboard of a car, though it will eventually get the job done if you keep at it. Finally, there is a lack of some convenience features that we would have liked to see. For example, the battery life is a bit truncated at just 15 minutes of runtime on a full charge, and it has a four-hour recharge interval. Also, the Flex Vac is a bit heavy at three pounds. Finally, the unit’s three attachments lack onboard storage though there is a place to organize them on the battery dock. Yet, the large and easy-to-empty canister counteracts some of these convenience shortfalls. All in all, the Flex Vac still performs quite well across the board.

Read more: Black+Decker Flex Vac BDh3020FL review

We used an anemometer to measure the suction power of each handheld vac – including the Flex.

Credit: Abriah Wofford

Most Economical Handheld Vacuum

Black+Decker HHVI320JR02

$55 at Amazon

Power Source: Battery | Cleaning Path Width: ~3″


Good with big debris

Good in cracks and crevices


Struggles with fine debris

Quite loud

The Black+Decker HHVI320JR02’s performance is a mixed bag with some real bright spots, including a great price point and the suction power to pick up big messes. The narrow nozzle with the built-in extension makes it effective at getting to those hard-to-reach places without needing multiple attachments. In the same vein, the rotating nozzle feature is a boon for maintaining a good grip on the handle when probing between couch cushions and the like. Also, the fold-down brush does well for vacuuming baseboards, though you need to be mindful not to scratch the wall with the plastic backing. Finally, the Black+Decker HHVI320JR02’s battery lasts ~15.5 minutes, weighs 2.4 pounds, and has an easy-to-empty debris receptacle.

The Black+Decker HHVI320JR02 has some limitations, too. For one, it did not fare well in our pet hair pick-up tests. It also struggles with fine debris like flour and has limited effectiveness on high-pile carpets. Additionally, the unit is considerably louder than other models in the class. Despite these issues, we still favor this unit as a reasonably effective, easy-to-use, affordable handheld vacuum.

Read more: Black+Decker HHVI320JR02 review

The Black+Decker does well in tight spots like between cushions due to its narrow, extendable, rotating nozzle and good suction.

Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Best Overall Robot Vacuum

Roborock Q5

$430 at Amazon

Multi-Room Navigation: Yes | Poo-avoidance: No


Great navigation

Useful mobile app

Excellent carpet cleaning


Doesn’t pick up large debris

Gets clogged with hair

The Roborock Q5 strikes the perfect balance between price and performance, all while packing in the most advanced features. This machine connects to a mobile app, where you can find options for no-go zones, schedules, and suction power. Here, the system creates a virtual 3D map of the home and outlines its cleaning path. Undoubtedly, the Q5 is among the smartest in the lineup, seamlessly navigating the entire space without bumping into furniture, walls, or those walking around. With few exceptions, like larger objects and pet hair, the system excels at tidying up various surfaces. It effortlessly cleaned up oatmeal and rice, even on fluffy carpet.

The Roborock Q5 has a low clearance, making it difficult to pick up larger debris. It also struggled to clean powdery messes like flour. Though it still picks up hair, the strands get wrapped around the bristles over time and can clog the machine. All in all, this robot system outperforms some of the most expensive options and is a handy cleaning tool for those on the go or who simply don’t want to vacuum as often

The Roborock Q5 effortlessly glides around obstacles, avoiding furniture, people, and no-go zones.

Credit: Abriah Wofford

Read more: Roborock Q5 review

Robot Vacuum and Mop

Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra

$1,060 at Amazon

Multi-Room Navigation: Yes | Poo-avoidance: Yes


Endless features

Efficient navigation

Excellent pet waste recognition

Mop that self cleans

Automatic dirt disposal



Bad with pet hair

All hail the mighty Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra! This super smart robot vacuum has an awesome app that allows users to set up boundaries in any room of their home. This robot is one of the first to explore mopping functionalities and actually mops pretty well. It is also a keen navigator and doesn’t bump your furniture, but still manages to clean pretty close against obstacles. One of the things we loved most about this model was its latest and greatest pet poop-avoidance technology. When we set up simulated poop in our test suite, the S7 noticed it immediately and kept its distance. We highly recommend this model to those who want the most out of a robot vacuum.

Unfortunately, this is probably not the best choice if you have pets. Although it has superb poop-avoidance technology, it still doesn’t do very well at picking up pet hair. This device is also super expensive, and we would think that a robot vacuum this pricey would be able to handle a little bit of pet hair.

Read more: Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra review

The Roborock S7 has incredible stool avoidance technology for those with pets.

Credit: Jessica Riconscente

Best All-Around Cordless Wet Dry Vacuum

Milwaukee M18 0880-20

$125 at Amazon

Power Source: Battery | Cleaning Path Width: 1″ (hose end)


Great hose design

Robust motor

Great accessory storage


Relatively heavy

So-so runtime

The Milwaukee M18 0880-20 is an exceptionally well-designed wet-dry vacuum cleaner. This model is easily at the top of its class in our cordless wet dry vacuum review. It is conveniently streamlined and also packs a powerful electric motor that will bust the toughest messes, be they sopping wet or dry as a bone. Soaked carpets? Heavy nuts and bolts? Piles of sawdust? It will suck all that up without a fuss and, with its HEPA filter, will blow nearly particular-free air out the tail-end. When your work is done, the M18 has a slick, toolbox-like design that accommodates all the attachments and self-retracting hose within. Another nice design feature is the hose routing that runs straight into the can where others use an easily-clogged elbow.

While the Milwaukee M18 0880-20 is a great vacuum, it isn’t without some limitations. For one, it did not fare well when sucking up standing water on a hard surface. In the M18’s defense, this results from a poorly designed floor attachment, not poor suction or airflow. Another weak spot for the M18 is its run time. At four minutes and 39 seconds per amp hour, it’s below average for its class. And, at 10 lbs 2 oz, it’s on the heavy end of its class, too. However, its hose stretches from 24 to 90 ½ inches, so you shouldn’t have to move it around too much. All in all, this is one heck of a wet dry machine, and we feel that most will overlook its deficiencies in light of its exceptional performance and ease of use.

Read more: Milwaukee M18 0880-20 review

The M18 is an extremely well-designed machine that can tackle the toughest mess in quick order.

Credit: Laura Casner

Why You Should Trust Us

This complex and diverse vacuum market overview comes from hundreds of hours of researching, testing, and comparing these machines since 2015. Specifically, we tested these vacuums for ease of use, cleaning effectiveness on common mess types, battery life, and reach, to name just a few of our analyses. This overview takes the best machines from five vacuum categories — upright, handheld, canister, wet-dry, robot, and stick — and combines them to give a telling overview of the market as a whole.

We put every vacuum cleaner through exhaustive testing protocols in our lab – involving tens of different tests to assess performance in a range of common-use situations including: carpet cleaning, hard floor cleaning, vacuuming up pet hair, small particle cleaning (flour), and a variety of challenges including picking up oatmeal, cereal, and rice.

Credit: Abriah Wofford

Senior Research Analyst Austin Palmer, review editor Jessica Riconscente, and author Nick Miley worked together to curate this vacuum cleaner review. This triad has well over 10 years of collective experience testing home electronics such as vacuum cleaners, air purifiers, kitchen appliances, and cordless tools.

Nick brings scientific experience gained in university research facilities and writing journal articles. Austin brings hundreds of hours of hands-on testing experience assessing products ranging from keyboards to photo printers, and now runs GearLab’s testing site. Finally, Jessica has on-the-ground experience as a professional cleaner, working at hostels and upscale homes for several years. She is also a dog mom and understands the demands placed on a vacuum when it comes to hairy messes.

Our research analyst, Jessica Riconscente, spread out debris over a short pile carpet for our robot vacuum testing.

Credit: Abriah Wofford

Our testing of vacuum cleaners is divided into four separate rating metrics:

  • Carpets
  • Hard Surfaces
  • Ease of Use
  • Pet Hair

These metrics contribute to each product’s overall score based on what consumers want out of their vacuum. The weightings for each metric will vary among different vacuums; for example, a handheld vacuum is quite different from an upright vacuum and therefore requires different tests and weightings. This comprehensive testing and rating approach helps us to help you find the right vacuum for your household and budget.

The Shark Stratos effectively picked up all the debris in our hardwood floor testing.

Credit: Abriah Wofford

How to Pick the Right Vacuum:

The first question you’ll want to answer is what kind of vacuum you need to satisfy your needs. While all vacuums perform the same general function, there is a high degree of specialization in the vacuum market. A good way to conceptualize this is to think about the messes you’ll most likely be cleaning and where. If this prompt made you think, sawdust in the garage, you’re solidly in the wet-dry category. On the other hand, if you thought of heavily-trafficked carpets in the house, you’re in the market for an upright, canister, or stick vacuum. The following is a breakdown of the various types of vacuums covered in this review. These categories will not only describe the machines but also where and what they do best.

Upright Vacuums

Your favorite upright vacuum is what many people think about when they imagine a vacuum cleaner. These machines are essentially the Swiss army knife of in-home vacuum cleaners. They are completely self-contained, with the canister, attachments, power cord, and extension hose all in one unit. A common feature in an upright is a roller brush or agitator that stirs up the debris for the vacuum to then suck into its canister — this makes them great for high pile carpets and hard texture surfaces where other vacuums struggle. These machines commonly have a hose that can be disconnected on one end and used with attachments like a handheld device for cleaning stairs and furniture. These are universal machines for household use, and their freestanding, self-contained design makes them easy to store in a closet or corner.

The Shark Stratos is an all-around impressive upright vacuum.

Credit: Jessica Riconscente

Stick Vacuums

Stick vacuums are simply a pared-down version of an upright device that is often battery-powered, but not always. Stick vacs often lack the accessories of uprights, such as a detachable handheld device, but again, not always. Some of the more sophisticated devices are quite comparable to high-quality uprights. The main difference is the slender profile of the unit, which makes the vacuum easier to store but also means that the canister is smaller and thus will need to be emptied more often. As such, we think these devices make the most sense in smaller areas, rooms with less traffic, or limited high pile carpet.

Many premium stick vacuums come as lightweight cordless models, which allows you to move and vacuum throughout your home without difficulty.

Credit: Abriah Wofford

Canister Vacuums

Canister vacuums are similar to uprights, with the obvious exception that the canister storing the collected debris is trailered behind the vacuum head and handle. This means that the business end of the vacuum is lighter and arguably more maneuverable. Still, it can also be harder to store in a closet or corner because the unit as a whole is bulkier. However, these machines do provide a bit of a sound demeaning because the motor is in the canister, and some find them easier to use on stairs since the canister can be left on the ground or carried in one hand while the other is free to work the business end of the machine.

One benefit of a canister vacuum is the ability to easily drag it around your home or up and down the stairs.

Credit: Abriah Wofford

Handheld Vacuums

Handheld vacuums are essentially an accessory and are not intended to clean a whole house. They do well at getting into all the places your upright or canister vacuums aren’t expected to reach. When we think about a handheld unit, we think about countertops, window sills, the car, or light spot cleaning when you don’t want to get out the full-size vacuum. These devices are battery-powered, so the runtime can be an issue, but the lack of a cord makes them all the more agile and nimble.

Handheld vacuums work well for hard to reach areas.

Credit: Abriah Wofford

Robot Vacuums

Robot vacuums are more than just a novelty. These machines offer users real time-savings when used correctly. While they are no substitute for a traditional vacuum cleaner (and the human running it), they are great for routine cleaning of the home and some light spot cleaning. The downside of the robot vacuum is that they require some setup, charging, have relatively small dust bins, and are not always intelligent — meaning that some cannot reliably make decisions not to run over something that doesn’t need picking up.

Many robot vacuums now come with smart capabilities and mapping that can be managed from your smart phone.

Credit: Jessica Riconscente

Cordless Wet-Dry Vacuums

As the name suggests, “wet-dry” vacuums are designed to tackle a whole other type of mess compared to those units discussed above. Wet-dry vacuums specialize in big messes where water or other liquids are involved. For example, these machines can suck up a bucket of water into their cans, something we wouldn’t dream of doing with an upright device. However, wet-dry vacs lack an agitator, so they are not great at cleaning large carpeted areas. When we think of wet-dry vacs, we think of work in the garage, motorhome, car, truck, or boat. Most of these units are battery-powered; thus, battery runtime will be something you’ll want to pay attention to if you put them on big jobs. These machines are self-contained, compact, and powerful.

The M18 is completely self contained making it easy to use, carry, and store. However, don’t be fooled by its simplicity – this machine can tackle the big, wet messes.

Credit: Laura Casner

To Bag or Not to Bag

While the bag debate was an important part of selecting a vacuum cleaner at one time, that is no longer the case. Nowadays, the vast majority of vacuums are bagless. This is a good thing for the most part because the lack of a bag reduces waste and trips to the store. However, there is no denying that, when emptying a bagless canister, some of the dust collected can escape into the air. If you are sensitive to dust, a bagged vacuum cleaner may be the right choice.

Bagless canisters tend to be easier to empty.

Credit: Abriah Wofford


This general overview of the vacuum market has highlighted the best models in the several classes of vacuums, including upright, stick, robot, canister, wet-dry, and handheld. Along with the overview, we have included a buying advice section to help you narrow down the market. These tools will assist you in selecting the right vacuum for your needs. With the proper vacuum, cleaning isn’t just a chore — it can be an enjoyable task.

Save & Close The best vacuum cleaners in 2023, plus everything you need to know before you buy

Dyson, Vax, Henry, Sebo, Shark, iRobot and Miele topped our list of the best vacuums in 2023

This article contains affiliate links. The products or services listed have been selected independently by journalists after hands-on testing or sourcing expert opinions. We may earn a commission when you click a link, buy a product or subscribe to a service.

Nothing will make more of a difference to the day-to-day cleanliness of your home than buying a decent vacuum cleaner. They come in all shapes and sizes, from traditional corded upright vacuums to “stick” or cordless vacuums, powerful cylinder vacuums, specially-designed vacuums for pet hair removal and even high-tech robot vacuums. There are also wet-and-dry carpet cleaners to consider. If you’re reading this piece, it’s likely you’re in the market for an upgrade – but which type should you go for? 

We’ve reviewed every type of vacuum cleaner below and spoken to a cleaning expert about what features to look for and which is the most powerful. If you’re in a rush, here’s a quick glance at our top five:

Which is the best vacuum cleaner? At a glance

  • Best cordless vacuum cleaner – Dyson V15 Detect Complete
  • Best pet vacuum cleaner – Vax Air Stretch Pet
  • Best cylinder vacuum cleaner – Shark Bagless Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner
  • Best robot vacuum cleaner – iRobot Roomba i7+
  • Best upright vacuum cleaner – Shark Lift-Away Upright Pet Vacuum

What should you look for in a vacuum cleaner?

According to professional cleaner Katerina Petrova of the Happy House Cleaning Company, that largely depends on the area you have to clean, as well as your budget.

Weight and manoeuvrability are priorities, she says, as “no one wants to carry around a very heavy hoover, or to keep looking for yet another switch if the cord is too short.” If you have mostly hard floors and are looking at the upper end of the price spectrum, Petrova recommends the cordless Dyson V15, which is also our top pick, as “it has a brush head with lasers and really does perfectly clean every corner of your place.” 

However, a cordless vacuum cleaner may not be the best choice if you have lots of carpet or a large area to clean. Corded upright and cylinder vacuums aren’t limited by battery life, and in most instances they have more powerful suction. Petrova also recommends looking for a vacuum with a HEPA filter, “as they provide the best method of filtration and traps even particles too small to see with naked eye.” 

She is also a fan of robot vacuums, which she says are a good choice if you don’t have any budgetary constraints and don’t want to do much cleaning. However, on testing the best robot vacuum cleaners, we found most were quite a faff to set up and use. 

How we tested the best vacuum cleaners

Credit: John Nguyen/JN Visuals

See our individual reviews of the best upright, cylinder, cordless, pet and robot vacuums (using the links above) for more details. In general we used dry food like crisps and crumbs, grit like cat litter, fine dirt like tea-leaves and talc and various types of hair from people and pets to see how the vacuums handled different tasks. Weight, manoeuvrability, ease of use and adaptability were important criteria. We also considered price and build quality.

Best vacuum cleaners

1. Dyson V15 Detect Complete cordless vacuum cleaner

£629.99, John Lewis

Best cordless vacuum cleaner, 10/10

We like: it’s the Telegraph team’s best-rated vacuum cleaner, and a favourite of professional cleaners

We don’t like: it can be a little temperamental 

Dyson: our overall winner is laser-equipped and powerful

  • 0. 76l capacity
  • Up to 60 minutes of battery life
  • 660 Watts suction power
  • HEPA filter
  • 2.74kg weight

Recommended by Abigail Buchanan

Vacuum cleaners have become an unexpected specialist subject of mine over the past year as a writer on the Telegraph Recommended product review section, and no vacuum has impressed me more than this. 

It’s expensive, but you get the best of everything – the best suction power, the best range of features (including a laser-powered light up floorhead and an LCD screen which shows you exactly how many microscopic dust particles you have sucked up), and the best battery life. It’s the first Dyson vacuum to have an upgraded HEPA filter to trap microscopic particles as small as 0.1 microns – the size of pet dander and diesel soot. It also comes with a range of premium accessories for cleaning every part of your home thoroughly.

At just 2.74kg, it’s light enough to use on stairs and to move around without too much bother. Despite its light weight, it’s a market leader with 230aW (air Watts) of suction power. If there’s a vacuum worth spending over £500 on, it’s this one.

Compare more of the top-rated models in our review of the best cordless vacuum cleaners. 


Buy now

Price at

John Lewis

2. Henry

£150, B&Q

Best value vacuum, 9/10

We like: it’s practically bulletproof and will last forever

We don’t like: it’s heavy and can be awkward to move around

Henry: a household name since 1981

  • 9l capacity
  • 10m cable
  • 620 Watts suction power
  • HEPA filter
  • 8kg

Recommended by Rebecca Astill

With his cheeky face, Henry is probably Britain’s most beloved vacuum: Henry. Sure, vacuums have come a far way since he came on the scene 40 years ago. Many now have digital displays, hair detangling brush heads and attachments that work just as well on floors as carpets – but none will last you quite as long. In that sense, Henry’s the opposite of Dyson.

Obviously, Henry has its cons (which we are all aware of). Henrys are noisy, heavy, annoying to pull around on their castors and not great if you have a bad back because you have to wind the cord in manually. 

But they’re robust to the point of being bombproof, hold up to nine litres of dust inside their bodies and have a 620 Watt motor. They have a huge 25.7m cleaning range if you combine the power cord with the tube. They’re the perfect vacuum for traditionalists. Every time my fancy Dyson plays up, I think wistfully of the days I used to own a Henry.

By the way, if you have pets, we’ve also reviewed the Henry Pet edition in our best vacuums for pet hair article.


Buy now

Price at


3. Shark Corded Stick Pet Pro Model HZ3000UKT

£239.99, Shark

Best corded vacuum, 9/10

We like: edge to edge vacuuming and folds in half for easy storage

We don’t like: it’s a little bulkier than other stick vacuums and doesn’t stand on its own

Shark: folds completely in half for storage

  • 0. 7l capacity
  • 10m cable
  • 309 Watts suction power
  • Anti-allergen seal and anti-odour technology
  • 4.1kg weight

Recommended by Rebecca Astill

We’re big fans of the Shark Stratos Cordless Vacuum  (also reviewed in our best vacuums for pet hair piece) but the corded just takes the edge for power. This corded model has 450 Watts of power, compared to the cordless which only has a 309 Watt motor. Plus – the corded is cheaper.

With a 10m power cord, you barely even notice it’s corded. The only time using this that I wished I had a cordless was when I was vacuuming my stairs. It was made easier by the fact the top segment easily pops away to convert to a handheld. Another handy feature is the hinge which allows the long stick to bend in the middle for going under sofas and beds.

The best part, and the feature American brand Shark is so famous for, is the incredible anti hair wrap technology. Unlike previous Shark models it’s almost 100 per cent effective, and that’s coming from someone with four long-haired cats and two Labradors. I’d choose this over Dyson’s detangling technology.

The Stratos ‘DuoClean’ floorhead contains motorised brush rolls which works on both floor and carpet, so you don’t need to keep switching with each room. It also has a slot for anti-odour capsules which keep the dust canister smelling fresh, although it’s more of a neutraliser than a perfumer. 

Although more powerful than the cordless model it’s still only half as powerful as the Dyson and Henry above. That said, I’ve never found the suction to be an issue and the brilliant edge to edge vacuuming means it captures everything in nooks and crannies and even picks up dirt beneath thin rugs.


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4. Sebo Automatic X7

£384.90, Sebo

Most powerful vacuum cleaner, 9/10

We like: the 890 Watts of power means nothing get past it

We don’t like: it’s bulky and reasonably heavy 

Sebo: a German powerhouse with a large capacity

  • 5. 3l capacity
  • 10m cable
  • 890 Watts suction power
  • S-class filtration
  • 7.4kg

Recommended by Rebecca Astill

This Sebo might remind you of 1960s vacuums owing to its thick-set body and bulky floor head, but it’s anything but a relic. The X7 is Sebo’s most innovative range with a computer control system to adjust the height of the brush for different floor types, optimising performance and prolonging the life of carpets.

Sebo originally manufactured industrial strength vacuums for German hotels and is still the standard for professional floor cleaners. We know from other vacuums that those that started commercially are often the most durable.

There’s no getting around the fact that this vacuum is bulky, heavy and noisy but that’s the way with most upright vacuums. What you get in return is a machine which makes light work of pet hair, dust and crumbs on both carpets and hard floors. 

It has S-class filtration, a European rating system even more demanding than HEPA standards, meaning it filters out 99. 9 per cent of particles down to 0.3 microns. Closer to home it has British Allergy Foundation Approval, making it ideal for households with pets. While I love a cordless vacuum for whizzing around the house daily, I like having the Sebo for weekend deep cleaning. 


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5. Vax Air Stretch Pet

£100, Argos

Best pet vacuum cleaner, 9/10

We like: powerful suction and good filtration to trap pet dander and hair

We don’t like: there’s no charcoal filter to trap pet smells

Vax: combines best features of other pet vacs at a low price

  • 1.5l capacity
  • 12m cord
  • 850 Watts suction power
  • HEPA filter
  • 5.5kg weight

Recommended by Simon Lewis

Our favourite pet vacuum cleaner is also the cheapest — which is remarkable, given that it has one of the most powerful motors and a top-rated HEPA filter. Good filters are the key to pet vacuums, since pet dander  (dust made of microscopic particles of their skin, saliva and sweat, which can give your home an unpleasant ‘pet smell’) can be as small as two thousandths of a millimetre across. 

Pet vacuums also need powered brushes for lifting hair from carpets and upholstery and, though Vax’s isn’t cutting edge compared to brands like Dyson, it’s very effective. Especially at a sixth of the price.

Compare more of the top-rated models in our review of the best vacuums for pet hair. 


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6. Shark Anti Hair Wrap Bagless Cylinder Pet Vacuum

Currently £99, Shark

Best cylinder vacuum cleaner, 9/10

We like: the excellent suction 

We don’t like: it’s quite difficult to store

Shark: the best cylinder on the market

  • 1.6l capacity
  • 9m cord
  • 800 Watts suction power
  • HEPA filter
  • 8. 4kg weight

Recommended by Abigail Buchanan

American Dyson-challenger brand Shark performed best in our tests of the best cylinder vacuum cleaners. The Shark Bagless Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner is easy to use, manoeuvre and empty, with an LED light for illuminating hidden dust. 

It also has the same ‘anti hair-wrap’ technology, “DuoClean” floorhead and flexible wand as the upright Shark model below and a HEPA filter makes it excellent choice for homes with pets or people with allergies. It’s also the most stylish cylinder vacuum we tested by a significant margin. 

It’s easy to switch between dedicated cleaning modes for carpets, hard floors and “above floor,” plus three suction strengths. The bagless design means there’s no need to faff around with changing dust bags, and it has a long 9m cord that automatically rewinds. 


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7. iRobot Roomba i7+

£949.99, Amazon

Best robot vacuum cleaner, 8/10

We like: basic floor cleaning can now be done while you’re out

We don’t like: anything above ankle height is still your problem

iRobot: a high-tech robot vacuum that’s reasonably easy to use

  • 03. l capacity with auto-empty
  • 75 minute run time
  • Laser, camera and infrared sensors for obstacle and cliff detection
  • 9.2cm high, 34cm wide
  • iRobot app

Recommended by Simon Lewis

Prices in robot vacuum cleaners range from £250 to well over £1000. Sitting roughly in the middle, the Roomba i7 isn’t the cutting edge, but the tech is impressive. As it cleans rooms, it creates a map which you can amend on your phone with keep-out zones and clean zones that need special attention, like around the bins or under the kitchen table. You can then send it to spot clean a given area at any time, using the app or a voice command.

In our tests it was faster and less ‘dithery’ than other robot vacs, forming a confident map of its surroundings. Trundling around quietly (it’s no noisier than a desk fan), it was impressive on hard floors and while did leave some fine dirt behind on carpets on the first pass, it got it up on a targeted clean. 

We definitely recommend the + version, which automatically empties itself into a bag in the base station when it returns to recharge. The bags fill up quite quickly, especially in a house with pets, but are very easy to slide out and dispose of.

Robot vacuums if we’re honest are still more of a novelty than a must-have, but this is the one to get, especially with the discounts currently available. It auto-updates its software over wi-fi, so won’t be obsolete for a good while yet.

Compare more of the top-rated models in our review of the best robot vacuum cleaners.


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8. Shark Lift-Away Upright Vacuum NV612UKT

£269, Currys

Best upright vacuum, 8/10

We like: it’s excellent value for money

We don’t like: it has a small capacity for an upright vacuum

Shark: great value – and great performance to match

  • 0.83l capacity
  • 8.5m cord
  • 750 Watts suction power
  • Anti-allergen seal
  • 5.65kg weight

Recommended by Abigail Buchanan

Our top upright vacuum cleaner is this lightweight, versatile Shark model that has impressive cleaning power. It comes with a dedicated pet hair tool to remove embedded hair from upholstery – and, even better, it’s frequently to be found discounted to under £200. 

The canister is detachable, so you can lift it up and use it like a cylinder vacuum to clean stairs or furniture; this makes it almost as practical as a cordless model for spot cleaning, but with the suction power of an upright. Even in an upright position it’s light, compact and easy to move around. It’s freestanding and the suction power can be easily adjusted via a switch on the handle. 

It has LED lights on the floorhead to illuminate hidden dust and grime, and an anti-allergy seal that traps an alleged 99.9 per cent of dust and allergens. 

Compare more of the top-rated models in our review of the best upright vacuum cleaners.


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9. Miele C1 Flex

£169, John Lewis

Easiest vacuum to use, 8/10

We like: very strong suction with a lightweight body

We don’t like: there’s no motorised brush head

Miele: foot controls for easy programming

  • 4. 5l capacity
  • 10m cord
  • 890 Watts suction power
  • AirClean filtration
  • 5.8kg weight

Recommended by Rebecca Astill

Miele vacuums always come recommended for their supreme AirClean filtration which claims to remove 99 per cent of allergens from the air. That’s obviously hard to prove, but it definitely left my carpets dust free.

The cylinder part of the vacuum lies flat on the ground and wheels along as you go. It’s compact and weighs far less than the Henry vacuum in second position, making it much easier to wheel around and a better option for anyone elderly or with a bad back. Even better, it has foot controls so there’s no need to bend down to adjust the suction power.

The vacuum holds 4.5l before it needs emptying and you can access the dust bin by pressing the top cover lid and pulling out the bag. One drawback is that Miele does recommend replacing the bag with each use, which would be a recurring cost.

Overall, it has an impressive 890 Watts of power, a 12m ‘operating radius’ and an integrated floor-head that cleans both carpets and hard floors in one. The C1 is an excellent value option given the suction power and the quality German engineering.


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John Lewis


Which vacuum has the strongest suction?

The most powerful motor in our tests was 890W, in the Sebo X7 upright vacuum from Germany. (Upright and cylinder vacuums will always be more powerful than cordless or robot versions.) But does that mean it has the greatest suction? It’s complicated. 

Vacuum cleaner manufacturers commonly quote the input power of the motor in Watts, but is not quite the same as measuring suction. After all, a badly-designed vacuum might have a powerful motor but fail to transmit that to the business end. 

Testing the Shark Bagless Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner

Experts say what you should really be comparing is the output power, given in airWatts. This is calculated by multiplying two other measurements (told you this was complicated):

Waterlift measures the suction at the foot: if the bottom of the tube was placed in water, this measures how far water would rise up the tube before gravity cancelled out the power of the motor. A vacuum with higher waterlift will be good for deep carpet cleaning. It’s also called sealed suction.

Airflow measures the amount of air pulled through the hose during operation. It’s often considered a better measure of a vacuum cleaner’s performance than waterlift, because it takes into account the resistance of the filter, bag and any other impedances to airflow.

In an ideal world all vacuum cleaners would multiply these to give an output rating measured in airWatts. Sadly it is rarely available. Some manufacturers list waterlift (in mm), some airflow (in m3/h), some nothing. We have listed whatever information is available to help you compare, but our assessment of the vacuum cleaners’ power is based on at-home tests and expert advice.

View the latest John Lewis & Partners and Shark deals


robot vacuum cleaner comparison

In this article, we will look at two models of Xiaomi robot vacuum cleaners: Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum Cleaner and Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum Cleaner 1S.

Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum Cleaner 1S is an updated model of the already proven classic Mi Robot Vacuum Cleaner. In the new version of the Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum Cleaner 1S, the navigation system has been improved, the suction power has been increased, and the cleaning efficiency of the robot has been improved. Immediately, we note that both models are suitable exclusively for dry cleaning.

Externally, Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum Cleaner 1S can be distinguished from the previous model by the black eye of the camera, which was called the “visual sensor”. It complements the laser navigation system, now the vacuum cleaner recognizes doorways and generally builds more accurate cleaning routes. The new Xiaomi robot vacuum cleaner divides the room into rooms, thanks to which you can select the rooms you need for cleaning in the application, this is very convenient and allows you to plan cleaning pointwise.

The use of two positioning systems has increased cleaning efficiency by 13%. Powering the entire system is the new Rockhip processor, which is 40% more powerful than the previous one and consumes 10% less energy.

Both models are equipped with the same 5200 mAh lithium-ion battery, which allows you to clean up to 250 m2 of space on a single charge. At the same time, battery life is up to 2.5 hours. The volume of the dust collector is also the same – 420 ml.

The Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum Cleaner 1S robot vacuum cleaner has more suction power – its motor is capable of creating a pressure of 2000 Pa versus 1800 Pa in the Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum Cleaner model. This suggests that the new generation robot is better at cleaning carpets and is more efficient at sucking up fine debris from smooth floors.

Speaking of the application, it now allows you to limit the cleaning area directly on the map (put a virtual wall), select the desired area for cleaning the floor, monitor the cleaning process in real time and program the robot vacuum cleaner to turn on by day of the week and by time .

Well, the last important change is the voice control of the robot through the Xiaomi AI proprietary speaker system. Now, with the help of voice commands, you can find out about the status of work, start cleaning in the right room, or ask how long the battery lasts.

To summarize, the Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum Cleaner 1S robot vacuum cleaner surpasses its predecessor in terms of technical characteristics, among the advantages it can be noted:
A new level of navigation and orientation in space.
Extended functionality of the mobile application.
Flexible schedule and cleaning route settings.
High suction power.

Our opinion – when choosing between Mi Robot Vacuum Cleaner and Mi Robot Vacuum Cleaner 1S, it is better to give preference to the updated model, because thanks to innovations, the cleaning process will become more comfortable for you!

Specifications Robot Vacuum Cleaner Attachments Kit Power Supply

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