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Price: RRP £129 | Buy now from Amazon
What we like
Accurate battery indicator
Comes with a freestanding stand to provide a simple storage solution
Auto mode chooses the most appropriate suction strength
Anti-tangle brush bar works a treat
What we don’t like
Takes a long time to charge
Struggles with embedded fluff and threads, even on the highest setting
The vacuum managed to pick up an impressive amount of dust and was able to effectively deal with the aftermath of an avalanche of hundreds and thousands in the kitchen and a glitter explosion on the sofa (hey, it was the summer holidays). It was also able to suck up long hair without it getting tangled around the roller. However it struggled with embedded threads, fluff and pet hair, even on the highest of its four power modes. I liked the LED screen which was able to tell me exactly how much battery was remaining.
For keeping on top of everyday muck and mess, the Tower VL100 Optimum is a smart choice if your budget doesn’t extend to a cordless Shark. It deserves its place on our best vacuum cleaners and best cordless vacuum cleaners round-ups.
Type of vacuum cleaner: Cordless | Weight: 2.5kg | Capacity: 1 litre | Runtime: 30-60 minutes | Charge time: 4-5 hours | Suction: 11KPA | Dimensions: H120 x W23.5 x D24cm | Warranty: One year | Price on writing: £129
What’s in the box?
3-in-1 vacuum cleaner
2-in-1 brush and crevice tool
Vacuum stand (in three parts)
Does it come with a docking station?
The Tower VL100 Optimum does not come with a docking station. However it does come with a vacuum stand for convenient storage. As the vacuum cleaner doesn’t remain upright on its own, this is a useful addition. It’s free-standing rather than wall-mounted, so it doesn’t involve drilling into the wall. And if you don’t have a cupboard for your vacuum, the stand provides the answer to any storage issues.
How does it feel to hold?
The Tower VL100 Optimum feels comfortable to hold. It is lightweight and there is a good amount of movement in the floorhead, which makes it easy to steer around obstacles. There is just one button, to turn the vacuum on and off, which is located on the back of the vacuum just above the handle, so it is easy to operate with your thumb. On top of the vacuum, there is an LED touchscreen where you can switch between the four modes - Eco (7KPA of power), High (9KPA), Turbo (11KPA) and Auto, which uses intelligent sensors to automatically select the appropriate setting for you.
What’s the Tower VL100 Optimum vacuum cleaner like to assemble?
Assembling the Tower VL100 Optimum was a piece of cake. The stand arrived in three parts which were easy to slot together, with no tools required for assembly. The pole is clipped to the vacuum cleaner and this is hung on the stand while the separate battery pack is charging up. The charging process is rather lengthy, taking between four and five hours. Once the battery has powered up, it slides onto the back of the vacuum and you are ready to go.
What’s the Tower VL100 Optimum vacuum cleaner like to use day-to-day?
When fully charged, the Tower VL100 Optimum has a run time of 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the mode used. One thing I really like about this vacuum cleaner is that rather than using a vague three-light indicator system, the illuminated screen shows exactly how much battery power is remaining. This makes it much easier to predict when it is about to run out of juice.
Suction wise, the eco-setting feels a bit limp, but it still managed to capture a good amount of dirt, crumbs and dust, leaving the bin pleasingly full. The turbo setting certainly has a lot more ‘oomph’, although it doesn’t feel as powerful as the Henry Quick when it’s firing on all cylinders.
The floorhead is smaller than the one on the cordless Shark Anti Hair Wrap Pet (model IZ202UKT). However this is not necessarily a bad thing as it allowed the VL100 Optimum to get to the parts that the Shark cannot reach without the faff of changing the nozzle. Meanwhile the VL100 Optimum’s supersoft anti-tangle all floor brush bar performed exactly as promised - not one single hair managed to get tangled around the roller during the three weeks of daily testing.
Normally I’m not particularly bothered or impressed by LED lights on the front of vacuum cleaners, but the three lights on the front of the VL100 Optimum are super bright and proved really useful. After a baking disaster which involved copious amounts of hundreds and thousands hitting the kitchen floor (argh!), the light proved invaluable in locating the stray white ones, camouflaged on the white floor, that I missed during the subsequent clean up. Now my kitchen floor is no longer crunchy underfoot. Result.
I used the crevice tool to vacuum up the tea time carnage from a toddler seat while the brush tool (and a little bit of elbow grease) helped to shift a tonne of glitter from the sofa, with very pleasing results.
How well does the VL100 Optimum clean carpets?
The VL100 Optimum cleaned the carpets well and was able to pick up most of the debris in its path. However it did struggle with threads and embedded fluff.
How well does the VL100 Optimum deal with hard floors?
The VL100 Optimum performed well on hard floors. The smaller, manoeuvrable brush head made it easy to get into various nooks and crannies and vacuum right up to the edge of the kitchen units. The brush tool efficiently removed the layer of dust from my bathroom skirting boards
How well does the Tower VL100 Optimum cope with pet hair?
I tested the VL100 Optimum’s ability to vacuum up cat hair, with mixed results. While it was able to pick up hair from laminate flooring with no problem, it struggled to get the hair out of the carpet and deep rug, which was a shame.
It’s worth noting that the VL100 Optimum has a HEPA filter, which traps small particles and pet dander, making it a smart choice for allergy sufferers.
How effective is the VL100 Optimum at vacuuming stairs?
The 2-in-1 brush and crevice tool, along with the lightweight nature of the VL100 Optimum, made vacuuming the stairs a total breeze. Unfortunately the stubborn sock fluff still refused to budge.
Does the Tower VL100 Optimum vacuum cleaner offer value for money?
For £129 at the time of writing (August 14th 2023), I feel the answer is a resounding yes - the Tower VL100 Optimum does offer great value for money. It is more than half the price of the cordless Henry Quick (£299 on Amazon at the time of writing) and £60 cheaper than the Shark Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner [IZ202UK] (£199). Although the VL100 Optimum doesn’t match the power of the Henry Quick, you don’t have the added expense of purchasing vacuum bags as you would need to do for the Henry.
All-in-all, the Tower VL100 Optimum is an affordable, dependable vacuum cleaner that is particularly good for those on a tight budget, short on storage space or even students heading off to university. However if you have a dog or cat shedding hair left, right and centre, then you will need something a bit more heavy duty. Why not check out our guide to choosing the best vacuum for pet hair, featuring models tried and tested by Mumsnet users.
How we tested
Reviewer Laura lives in a four bedroom house with her husband and two kids, aged four and six. The house is a mixture of carpeted, tiled and laminate floors. The vacuum was also tested on stairs, rugs, skirting boards, toddler seats and down the sides of the sofa. The Tower VL100 Optimum was tested on its ability to vacuum up dust, dried mud, long hair, hundreds and thousands, grass, sock fluff, crumbs, glitter and the odd bit of guinea pig hay.
Laura also tested the VL100 Optimum at her sister-in-law’s house, home to cats Terry, Dobby and the beautiful long-haired Cosmo. Laura tested the vacuum on a mixture of carpet, rugs and laminate flooring.