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Vacuum cleaner buying guide

Let us clear up any confusion and help find the right vacuum cleaner for you.

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How to choose the best vacuum cleaner.

The vacuum cleaner is an essential appliance for any home. It’s the quickest and easiest way to pick up dirt, remove pet hair and suck up dust – keeping your house fresh and clean.

But with so many models such as cordless, upright and bagless vacuums, how do you know which one will suit your home and lifestyle? To help you out, we’ve broken down the options and the features you need to consider, to find the best one for you.

How to choose the best vacuum cleaner

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Starting points...

When purchasing a vacuum, consider these factors:

  • Storage space
  • Floor surfaces (and coverage)
  • Weight
  • Bagged or bagless
  • Bin capacity
  • Filters
  • Cable length
  • Battery life and charging times

These will vary with each type of vacuum, so it’s good to get an idea of what each one can offer…

The different types of vacuums

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Cordless vacuums

A popular choice due to their compact size and lightweight construction. Meaning they’re easy to manoeuvre and can reach those awkward spots.

Things you should know:

  • They have an average charge time of 4 hours, for up to 60 minutes battery life.
  • Many models have a spare battery included.
  • HEPA filters are available for allergy sufferers.
  • Most models have pet attachments for stubborn fur.
  • They're suitable for all floor types.
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Upright vacuums

Ideal for larger homes due to their bigger capacities and effectiveness on various floor surfaces. Their upright design means less bending over for you, and additional attachments allow you to clean from your sofa to your mattress, and everywhere in between. Just remember to check the cable length is suitable for your needs.

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Cylinder vacuums

Think small, round and light – so they’re easy to store and whizz around your home. Their long, flexible hose and multiple attachments mean there’s no out-of-reach spots. The cable neatly wraps itself inside, and they're suitable for most surfaces including carpet, hard floors or upholstery.

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Handheld vacuums

Perfect for a quick clean, tricky spots and pet hair. Charge times can vary from 2-6 hours, but with an average run time of 15 mins, they can get a lot done. The powerful motor and varied attachments mean they are perfect for those odd jobs at home.

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Robot vacuums

These cleaning buddies are perfect for smaller homes. Lightweight, easy to store and you can set up a cleaning routine without even being there – some even return to their dock to start recharging. With their smart sensors, you won’t need to worry about them bumping into things, and their different settings mean they're great for both carpets and hard floors.

Other things to consider...

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Bagged or bagless vacuums?

Choosing a bagless vacuum will certainly help save some pennies on dust bags. But if you suffer with allergies, then bagged vacuums might be a better match.

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HEPA vacuums

Suffer from dust allergies or asthma? HEPA vacuums have filters that can trap and remove the smallest particles, helping to reduce allergic reactions.

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Best vacuums for pet hair

Look for a model with a pet tool attachment. The sturdy bristles and powerful brushes, loosen, lift and remove unwanted hair left by your furry friends.

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Vacuum cleaner accessories

Don’t forget your dust bags, new filters (replace yearly for peak performance) and key attachments that you want from your vacuum.

The floor cleaner family...

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Steam cleaners

Great for cleaning stubborn stains on laminate, wood and hard floors. See our steam cleaner guide to discover exactly what they can do.

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Window vacuums

Compact, cordless and lightweight vacs. Perfect for removing condensation and stains from windows, tiles or showers with a streak-free finish.

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Carpet cleaners

Treat your carpet to a deep clean. With carpet cleaners, easily lift stubborn stains, remove the build-up of dirt and give your carpet that new, just laid, bouncy feel.

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