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Best upright vacuum cleaners to keep your floors dust-free in 2024

A good upright vacuum cleaner will keep your home - including all those awkward nooks and crannies - dust-free. Here are the best products for the job, as tried, tested and rated by Mumsnetters.

By Laura Cooke | Last updated Jan 10, 2024

Three upright vacuum cleaners from Sebo, Shark and Vax lined up on a yellow background

The best vacuum cleaners come in all different shapes and sizes, but sometimes you just can’t beat a good old-fashioned upright vacuum.

Powerful, manoeuvrable and great for tackling embedded pet hair, you can pick up a decent upright vacuum for less than £150, making it an affordable alternative to cylinder, cordless and robot vacuums, particularly during the current cost of living crisis.

But which upright vacuum cleaner should you go for? From Shark to Dyson to Vax, we’ve rounded up a selection of the best products, as tried and tested by Mumsnetters.

To keep on top of household chores, we've also got handy guides to the best steam cleaners, the best floor mops, the best carpet cleaners, the best Dyson vacuum cleaners, the best Shark vacuum cleaners, all featuring reviews and recommendations from Mumsnet users.

Here are the best upright vacuum cleaners to buy in 2024.

Read next: Bag a bargain with our roundup of the best vacuum cleaner deals

1
Best upright vacuum cleaner overall

Sebo Automatic X7 Pet ePower 91540GB Upright Vacuum Cleaner

What we like
  • The vacuum’s filtration system reduces allergens and odours

  • Turbo tool is great for tackling embedded pet hair

What we don't like
  • Heavier than some models

  • You’ll need to buy Sebo vacuum bags separately

Key specs

Price: £400 | Bagged/bagless: Bagged |  Capacity: 5.3 litres | Weight: 7.4kg | Run time: N/A | Charging time: N/A | Included tools: Turbo Tool for embedded dirt and pet hair

What Mumsnet users say
wowfudge · Tried & Tested
It is excellent at picking up cat hair and all the assorted cr*p she seems to walk through the house. It has a boost button which gives it even more pick-up power.
See Post
VeganCow · Recommended
Go for a Sebo X model, they last forever and pick up better than any other vacuum.
See Post
Our verdict

Mumsnetters love the Sebo Automatic X7 Pet Vacuum Cleaner for its awesome power and ability to deal with all the dirt thrown at it - particularly pet hair. It’s sturdy, yet manoeuvrable, and with a long 10-metre cable and impressive 5.3-litre capacity, the Sebo can easily tackle the entire home in one sitting, whatever the floor type. The turbo tool cleans deep into carpets to pick up even the most embedded pet hair, while the S-Class filtration system keeps your home free from allergens and dust.

It is true that the Sebo Automatic X7 Pet Vacuum Cleaner is on the pricey side, and you will need to buy Sebo vacuum bags, which adds to the final total you’ll pay. However, if you want a vac that gets the job done with minimal fuss, then the X7 is worth the investment in exchange for many years of happy hoovering.

Read next: The best vacuum cleaners to buy, as recommended by Mumsnetters

2
Best budget upright vacuum cleaner
What we like
  • Affordable price

  • Good selection of tools for all the mucky jobs

What we don't like
  • Small bin capacity

Key specs

Price: £120 | Bagged/bagless: Bagless |  Capacity: 1.5 litres | Weight: 6.9kg | Run time: N/A | Charging time: N/A | Included tools: Pet tool, mattress nozzle, crevice nozzle, upholstery nozzle, dusting brush, turbo brush

What Mumsnet users say
userxx · Tried & Tested
For the money I'm really surprised how good it is 👍
See Post
hashbrownsandwich · Recommended
I've got a Vax air lift pet max which is amazing.
See Post
Our verdict

If your budget doesn’t stretch to a Sebo or a Dyson, then this little wonder vacuum is a great alternative. The Vax Air Lift Steerable Max Pet Corded Upright Vacuum Cleaner comes with a range of attachments to meet all your vacuuming needs. The lightweight cylinder can be lifted out to help make vacuuming your car, stairs and other hard-to-reach places a whole lot easier.

The big downside is that the Vax has a smaller capacity than other upright vacuum cleaners, and considerably less than the Sebo Automatic X7 Pet, so you may find that you have to make a few more trips to the bin.

Read next: The best handheld vacuums for dust-free floors

3
Best upright Shark vacuum cleaner

Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away Anti Hair Wrap AZ910UK Upright Bagless Vacuum Cleaner

What we like
  • Lift Away makes it easy to vacuum stairs and those hard-to-reach places

  • LED headlights to illuminate crumbs, dust and dirt

  • Emptying the bin is easy and mess-free - a great choice for those with allergies, and pet owners

What we don't like
  • Some may find the Lift Away rather cumbersome or difficult to use if you have arthritis or a bad back

Key specs

Price: £350 new/£170 refurbished | Bagged/bagless: Bagless | Capacity: 0.99 litres | Weight: 7kg | Run time: N/A | Charging time: N/A | Included tools: Upholstery tool, 2-in-1 duster crevice tool

What Mumsnet users say
Mamascoven · Tried & Tested
I have the corded anti hair wrap and love it! Much prefer a corded hoover but that's personal preference.
See Post
Our verdict

Tested by MNHQ: Read our in-depth Shark AZ910UK review

The tech that comes with a Shark helps to take the strain out of vacuuming and the Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away Anti Hair Wrap AZ910UK is no exception. Shark’s DuoClean technology and large floorhead means it can move from room to room, cleaning carpets and hard floors without needing to stop to switch heads. Anti-Hair Wrap technology means that hair doesn’t get tangled around the roller.

Multiple tools and the lightweight Lift Away help the Shark to reach places that other vacuums can’t. However it should be noted that, just like the Vax, the bin is on the small side.

Read next: The best robot vacuum cleaners for hands-free hoovering

4
Best upright vacuum cleaner with a bag

Sebo EB9812 700W Felix Peony Bagged Upright Vacuum Cleaner

What we like
  • Gorgeous design - who says vacuuming can’t look glamorous?!

  • Generous capacity

  • 25% of all Felix Peony profits are donated by Sebo to breast cancer charity the Pink Ribbon Foundation

What we don't like
  • On the heavy side

  • You may have to purchase optional attachments to adapt to different floor types

Key specs

Price: £350 | Bagged/bagless: Bagged | Capacity: 3.5 litres | Weight: 9.5kg | Run time: N/A | Charging time: N/A | Included tools: Crevice nozzle, upholstery nozzle

What Mumsnet users say
Glassesareneeded · Tried & Tested
I have a Sebo Felix! Really, really pleased with it. Carpets look so much better than after using our old Dyson. I find the brush bar really easy to take out too. Would highly recommend.
See Post
jaundicedoutlook · Recommended
Another vote for Sebo - so much better than anything else I’ve ever had, and the bags really aren’t an issue as they’re fairly cheap on Amazon and hardly ever need replacing.
See Post
Our verdict

If you prefer a vac with a bit of va-va-voom, then this is the one for you. But don’t let the Sebo Felix’s delicate appearance fool you. This is a high-performance piece of machinery with impressive suction to ensure that no dust is left behind. The power brush can be turned on for extra grip and stronger pick-up of stubborn dirt, while the turntable head and adjustable handle help to improve manouverability and make vacuuming a more comfortable experience. Optional attachments such as Sebo’s Parquet Brush or Kombi Head are available to help the Felix adapt to different floor types.

We love the vibrant pink peony design, but if florals aren’t your bag, then the Sebo Felix comes in a range of other bright, stylish designs or a sensible navy.

Read next: The best budget vacuum cleaners - our favourite products under £200

5
Best upright Dyson vacuum cleaner
What we like
  • Powerful suction

  • Tangle-free turbine tool makes it easy to remove long hair from carpets, pet beds and upholstery

What we don't like
  • Bin capacity is smaller than other uprights on our list

  • On the pricey side

Key specs

Price: £230 | Bagged/bagless: Bagless | Capacity: 1.1 litres | Weight: 7kg | Run time: N/A | Charging time: N/A | Included tools: Upholstery nozzle, turbo brush

What Mumsnet users say
MrsWidgerysLodger · Tried & Tested
The Animal cylinder range has been consistently excellent in our experience.
See Post
Lisajane47 · Recommended
My Dyson animal ball is great.
See Post
Our verdict

Instantly recognisable with that huge ball, the Dyson Ball Animal Corded Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner is a great choice for pet owners as the vac’s powerful suction and tangle-free feature devours pet hair with ease. Meanwhile Dyson’s five-stage filtration system captures all the nasties, including bacteria.

Three suction modes mean the Dyson Ball Animal can be used on short, medium and deep pile carpets, as well as hard floors. Various attachments, an extra-long hose and easy-release wand means that you can use the Dyson power on all those hard-to-reach places too.

Read next: Get sparkling clean floors with our pick of the best floor cleaning products

6
Best upright vacuum cleaner for pet hair
What we like
  • Handy pet tool makes light work of pet hair

  • LED lights highlight hidden dust and dirt

What we don't like
  • Lift Away may topple over if you overstretch

Key specs

Price: £199 | Bagged/bagless: Bagless | Capacity: 1.3 litres | Weight: 6.6kg | Run time: N/A | Charging time: N/A | Included tools: Pet tool, mattress nozzle, crevice nozzle, upholstery nozzle, turbo brush

What Mumsnet users say
Theraffarian · Tried & Tested
I bought this Shark one a few months ago, long hair and a cat that spreads hair everywhere, and I’m very pleased with it . Picks up everything, no blockages and none of my hair gets caught around the bottom. The pet tool picks up all the cat hair. My one complaint is that it topples over while using it a lot if you overstretch the wand.
See Post
Our verdict

If you’re looking for a quality vacuum cleaner, but with a price tag that is kind on the pocket, then the nifty Shark Lift Away Anti Hair Wrap Pet Corded Vacuum Cleaner is a smart choice.

A great option for pet owners, Shark’s Anti-Hair Wrap Technology tackles pet hair with ease, while the anti-allergen complete seal captures and traps dust, hair and allergens, helping to keep your home clean, hygienic and safe from all these nasties. It can also transform into a portable, handheld vacuum unit using the Powered Lift-Away and effortlessly adjusts to different floor types.

Read next: Revive and refresh tired looking carpets with the best carpet shampoos

What are the benefits of using an upright vacuum cleaner?

Upright vacuum cleaners are easy to use and generally better on the back, as they help you avoid the repeated stooping movement associated with other types of vacuums. Upright vacuum cleaners are capable of covering a large floor area and as many of them are corded, you can vacuum all your floors in one go, without worrying that your vac is going to run out of charge and conk out.

Read next: Shift dirt and grime from your family car with the best car vacuum cleaners

Are upright vacuums better than cylinder vacuums?

Like so many things, this is really all down to personal choice. Some people prefer cylinder vacuums because they’re generally more lightweight than an upright vacuum cleaner, but some cylinder vacuums are bulkier, making them more difficult to manoeuvre and store compared to a traditional upright. In terms of suction and power, there is not much difference between uprights and cylinders.

How to choose the best upright vacuum cleaner

Before committing yourself and your credit card, there are a number of things that you should consider when purchasing an upright vacuum cleaner.

Power: What air wattage does each vacuum cleaner offer? Anything over 100AW will give you a powerful and efficient clean.

Bin capacity: A larger bin capacity means that you can clean for longer but your vacuum may be heavier. A smaller bin may mean a lighter vac, but depending on how much vacuuming you have to do and how often, you may find yourself taking more trips to the dustbin than you’d like. The bagged vacuum cleaners on our list have a larger capacity than the bagless. However you will need to buy replacement bags at some point, so this is something that you should bear in mind.

Weight: The upright vacuum cleaners on our list vary in weight. A lightweight vac is easier on the back and is better for people who may have mobility issues or health problems such as arthritis. But as mentioned above, a lighter vac often goes hand-in-hand with a smaller bin capacity, so this is something that should be taken into consideration.

Tools and accessories: Check which tools come with your upright vacuum cleaner, for example pet tools, crevice nozzles and brushes for upholstery, to make sure your vacuum is up to the task. It’s worth noting that some vacuums will require you to purchase some tools and accessories separately. For example, the Sebo Felix needs the Sebo’s Parquet Brush or Kombi Head to be able to tackle certain floor types.

Price: As you can see from our list, the price of upright vacuums varies. Top-of-the-range vacuums from big name brands like Dyson and Sebo can set you back several hundred pounds. Although some say this is well worth the investment, a vacuum in a lower price bracket, or an older model, may be enough to meet your needs. Or if you really have your heart set on the latest Dyson or Shark, shop around, compare prices, or wait until Black Friday to bag a bargain.

What’s the best upright vacuum cleaner to buy?

Mumsnetters rate the Sebo Automatic X7 Pet ePower 91540GB Upright Vacuum Cleaner for its cleaning efficiency and its ability to tackle pet hair and mess with ease. For this reason, we have crowned it our best upright vacuum cleaner.

What’s the best Dyson upright vacuum cleaner?

The iconic Dyson Ball Animal Corded Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner is our pick for best Dyson upright vacuum cleaner for its awesome power, easy emptying and the way it deals with troublesome pet hair.

What’s the best Shark upright vacuum cleaner?

Mumsnet users recommended the Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away Anti Hair Wrap AZ910UK Upright Bagless Vacuum Cleaner as the best Shark upright vacuum cleaner.

How we chose our recommendations

When compiling our list of recommendations, our team of experienced, trusted parenting journalists spend hours researching every product category, using a variety of sources to analyse and evaluate which products perform best. Many of the recommendations for upright vacuum cleaners came from Mumsnetters themselves who’ve spent hours of their time putting the products through their paces to clean their own homes.

We searched the Mumsnet forums for posts about which upright vacuum cleaners Mumsnetters really rated and then researched expert review sites and retailers, such as Argos, Amazon and Currys, to allow us to accurately hone our list of tried-and-tested products.

During our research, we vetted each vacuum cleaner, considering the quality, suction cleaning power, weight, manoeuvrability, extra features, material and overall performance to ensure they performed well across the board.

About the author

Laura Cooke is a Content Editor at Mumsnet, with a special focus on home care content.

Laura started writing Swears By articles for Mumsnet in 2021 and has recently taken over responsibility for floor care and laundry content. She writes buyers guides, including what to consider when buying a robot vacuum cleaner, cleaning articles and tests products, including the Henry Quick vacuum and the Beldray 60m Rotary Airer, to help Mumsnetters make informed choices when it comes to parting with their pennies.

Laura is also a freelance journalist and has written articles for publications including the Daily Mirror, the i, Metro, Stylist and Happiful magazine.

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