Best Vacuum Cleaners

We put 15 of the UK's top vacuum cleaners to the test, and our absolute favourite was the Vax Blade 2 Max.

Best Vacuum Cleaner 2018

Vax Blade 2 Max

Choosing the right vacuum cleaner for your household can be a bit of a head-scratcher. Upright? Cylinder? Cordless? Bagged? Bagless? And what about filters? Which one is best for dealing with pet hair and how about hard floors? There's a lot to consider.

If you're struggling to understand what you actually need read our Buyer’s Guide to decide what you need from your vacuum cleaner.

After months of testing, the light, versatile and efficient Vax Blade 2 Max impressed with its ease of use and ability to deal with dirt and debris on any floor type.

While the Vax Blade 32V was our original Mumsnet Best Vacuum Cleaner, we think Vax's new model, the Blade 2 Max, is even better.

The cordless Vax Blade 2 Max is powerful and light, and its 45-minute runtime means there's enough charge to clean the entire house. We think it's the best vacuum cleaner for most households.


  • Quick and easy to assemble
  • Incredibly light which means almost effortless cleaning
  • Great suction
  • Press a button to activate the brush bar – no need to change heads for different floor types


  • Bagless so a little messy to empty
  • Need to wash and air dry filter
  • Need to buy direct from Vax to get extra tools
  • Quite noisy (in comparison to others we tested) – especially if using turbo mode

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All prices on this page are correct at time of writing

How we tested vacuum cleaners

We spent hours researching the different types of vacuum cleaners available and narrowed them down to ensure we tested a range of models at a range of prices. Then we scoured bestseller lists and asked Mumsetters to tell us which vacuum cleaners they really rated. After this we were left with a shortlist of 15 highly recommended models, including uprights, cylinders and cordless vacuums. Here's a list of the products we tested:

  • Vax Blade 2 Max
  • Vax Blade 32V
  • Gtech Pro
  • Dyson Big Ball Animal 2
  • Shark Duo Clean Lift Away
  • Hoover Enigma Bagged Pets
  • Vax Airlift Steerable Advance
  • Bosch Unlimited
  • Miele Blizzard Cat and Dog
  • Dyson V10 Absolute
  • Hoover Discovery Pets
  • Hoover Vision One-Fi
  • Numatic Henry cordless
  • Sebo Felix E-Power
  • Henry Allergy HVA 160-1

Shortlist in hand, our tester (a mother of a very busy household) tested each vacuum for everyday dirt, but also put them through their paces with a range of more targeted tests. After months of testing, five vacuums triumphed – the Vax Blade 2 Max (Mumsnet Best Vacuum Cleaner 2018), Dyson Big Ball Animal 2 (Best Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner 2018), the Shark Duo Clean Lift-Away (Best Upright Vacuum Cleaner 2018), the Gtech Pro (Best for Pet Owners 2018), the Hoover Enigma Bagged Pets (Best Value for Money Vacuum Cleaner 2018) and the Vax Blade 32V (Best Budget Cordless Vacuum Cleaner 2018).

The results are based on how well the vacuum works in real situations in a real home, and how it performs on a daily basis. You'll be using your new vacuum in your home, so we believe it's best to put the vacuums through their paces in a real household too.

After months of testing, we’re convinced the Vax Blade 2 Max is the best vacuum cleaner for most families.

Read full review »

More Mumsnet Best Vacuum Cleaners

Dyson big ball animal 2 with a child

Best Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner 2018

Dyson Big Ball Animal 2

The Dyson Big Ball Animal 2 (£299 at John Lewis) is a great cylinder vacuum that's perfect for smaller households. It's easy to manoeuvre and its quick-release tools make cleaning simple.

What's more, it has more capacity than cordless vacuums, so you won't be going back and forth to the bin to empty its contents every other second.

  • The tangle-free turbine tool for pet hair uses counter rotating brush heads
  • Self-rights when toppled
  • Rotating wand handle for easier cleaning (this does take some getting used to, but is very effective)
  • Quick-release tools

Read more »
Gtech pro vacuum cleaner in the kitchen

Best Vacuum Cleaner for Pet Owners 2018

Gtech Pro

The Gtech Pro (£199.99 on eBay) is versatile, light and removes pet hair from all surfaces. The cordless vacuum takes care of pet (and human) hair with a few sweeps and its bagged design mean there's no mess when it's time to empty.

We think it's a great buy for pet owners who want the versatility of a cordless and the convenience (and cleanliness) of a bagged vacuum.

  • Easy and hygienic to empty – no filters to wash
  • Bags hold up to 1.5 litres – that’s three times the amount of other cordless vacuums of a similar size
  • Lightweight and versatile – can be used as a floor cleaner or a handheld

Read more »
Hoover enigma in a lounge

Best Value for Money Vacuum Cleaner 2018

Hoover Enigma Pets Bagged

The Hoover Enigma (£99.99 on Very) is a pro at dealing with pet hair and works really well on hard floors and carpets. It's simple to put together, easy to use and very powerful. All for under £100.

With all the Hoover's tools stored on board, there's no going back and forth when you realise you've left the tool you actually need elsewhere. We think it’s the best value for money of all the cleaners we tested.

  • Variable power – quick-and-easy-to-change suction means you can protect more delicate surfaces
  • Pet turbo brush to loosen and lift hair
  • Automatic cord rewind – saves having to manually wind up the cord when you've finished vacuuming
  • Compact and easy to store, so great for smaller homes

Read more »
Vax blade 32v

Best Budget Cordless Vacuum Cleaner 2018

Vax Blade 32V

This was our original Mumsnet Best Vacuum Cleaner 2018 winner, however we think Vax's new model the Blade 2 Max is even better. The 32V is still a fantastic product – especially if you're on more of a budget.

The Vax Blade 32V (£169 from is powerful, light and easy to use. Its 45-minute runtime means there’s enough charge to clean the entire house (if you don’t live in a mansion) and it will tackle most, if not all, of your vacuuming needs.

  • Lightweight (only 3kg) and easy to manoeuvre
  • Steerable – easy to get around furniture
  • Boost mode gives extra cleaning power when needed
  • Reach wand means you can dust up high and in hard-to-reach places

Read more »
Shark duoclean powered lift away

Best Upright Vacuum Cleaner 2018

Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away

The Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away (£199 from Currys) is a great all-rounder. The upright section is effective at dealing with pet hair and is a pro on any surface, while the Lift-Away makes cleaning hard-to-reach areas super easy.

This vacuum cleaner gives you all the versatility of a handheld and a useful gadget if you're blighted by back pain.

  • DuoClean technology – two brush rolls in one head work together to remove large and small particles. The second soft brush means you can move easily from one surface to another
  • Powered Lift-Away – the main unit can be detached with the click of a button, so it's like having an upright and a handheld in one (bonus)
  • Anti-Allergen technology captures and holds dust and allergens inside the vacuum

Read more »

How we test

How we tested the best vacuum cleaners on the market.

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Vacuum cleaners

Buyer's Guide

Everything you need to know when buying a vacuum cleaner, explained.

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