Upright Vacuum Cleaners

Upright Vacuum CleanersJanuary 2018(Last Updated 16 January 2018)

The best upright vacuum cleaners on the market, easy to push around your house and simple to use
Compare top brands including Hoover, Miele and Bosch
Every week we rank the best vacuum cleaners based on features, reviews and price
We compare: 4,290 Vacuum Cleaner Models 49,500 Vacuum Cleaner Reviews 5,810 Vacuum Cleaner Prices
We compare:
4,290 Vacuum Cleaner Models
49,500 Vacuum Cleaner Reviews
5,810 Vacuum Cleaner Prices
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

QWhat are the difference between upright, cylinder and drum vacuum cleaners?
AUpright vacuum cleaners are the traditional models, pushed from the top. Cylinder/drum vacuums are both smaller and squatter, and use a long flexible hose to give a far greater degree of flexibility when hoovering.
QHow does the power (wattage) of a vacuum cleaner affect it's performance?
AWattage is directly related to the suction power of the vacuum cleaner, and therefore how efficient it is at cleaning. Generally speaking, the higher the wattage, the better the appliance will suck up dirt and grime.

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Upright Vacuum Cleaner Buying Guide

There is a huge variety of vacuum cleaners available today. Finding the right vacuum cleaner may sound daunting but understanding what advantages and disadvantages the different technologies and features provide goes along way in finding the best hoover for your needs.

Upright Vacuum Cleaners

Upright vacuums are ideal for cleaning larger spaces and are particularly suited for cleaning carpeted areas. A rotating brush in the vacuum’s head combs the carpet to loosen dirt and dust. They are also very effective in picking up pet hair. Most models have a carpet height selector to adjust the cleaning head according to the carpet pile.

Uprights allow you to work in a comfortable position without the need to bed over a lot. They are ideal for those with lower back pain. Most models are very easy to manoeuvre and come with a set of tools for corners and stairs. Most upright vacuums are bagless as the bin is more accessible and easier to remove than in cylinder cleaners.

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Benefits:

Rotating brush bar helps to loosen dust & dirt
Less motor power required
Easy to store
Great for large areas
Ideal for carpets
More difficult to use on stairs
Cannot be used on upholstery
Larger & heavier

Wet & Dry Cleaners

Usually aimed for use in workshops, garages and environments that can get dirtier than the average household, wet & dry vacuum cleaners are robust and can handle a variety of cleaning tasks. They can hoover up sawdust, leaves, wet mud and even water.

Wet & dry vacuums are available from a number of manufacturers like Karcher, Vax, deWalt and Bosch. These multi-purpose vacuum cleaners have a robust construction and a large container volume. Filters can usually be washed and tools and accessories are stored within the industrial vacuum cleaners.

Bagged vs. Bagless Vacuum Cleaners

Since James Dyson invented the cyclone bagless vanccum cleaner, bagless models have become more and more popular. The dust bin can be emptied easily when full. There is no need to purchase bags, which is also more environmentally friendly and cost effective over time. Most upright vacuums are now bagless.

Filters may be replaced and cleaned after extended periods, but this is easier and cheaper than re-purchasing bags at regular intervals. Bagless vacuums don’t suffer from reduced suction, which can be a problem with bags as they fill up.

Some people prefer vacuum cleaners with bags is because there is less potential for dust accidentally being released into the air when emptying it. More care needs to be taken with bagless cleaners and the dust bin should also be washed regularly.

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Filters

A vacuum cleaner’s filtration system makes sure that the potentially harmful particles that get sucked up are removed from the air before it is expelled from the machine. Due to the large volumes of air a hoover sucks in, all the bacteria, fungal spores and other allergens that are being sucked up will create an indoor health hazard, which is quickly spread around the whole property unless the air is cleaned effectively.

Even if the air expelled from a machine looks clean, it might contain millions of microscopic particles that can transmit disease and cause allergies. Vacuum cleaners filter the air in several stages in an attempt to trap dust, hair and other particles. The number of stages can vary between 3 and 7, although this does not indicate how effective a hoover is a trapping unwanted particles.

Micro filtration usually refers to hoovers with at least 4 levels of filtration. It is important to remember that the number of stages advertised does not indicate the vacuum cleaner’s effectiveness at removing small particles from the air.

A ‘HEPA’ (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter removes at least 99.97% of particles which are 0.3 Micons or bigger from the air. Bacteria are between 1-10 Micons in size, so the exhaust air of a HEPA vacuum cleaner is considered biologically clean. Vacuum cleaners with HEPA filters are specifically designed to reduce the number of microscopic particles emitted when hovering, making them ideal for people suffering from allergies and asthma. Some HEPA vacuum cleaners are approved by the British Allergy Foundation.

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Normal stage, HEPA and charcoal filters need to be changed after a certain period of time to ensure they remain effective. However there also exist lifetime filters are designed to last as long as the vacuum cleaner, eliminating the need to change filters.

Cleaning Efficiency

In a drive to ensure greater energy efficiency, the EU banned vacuum cleaners with a motor power above 1600W in 2014.

It is important that a vacuum cleaner’s power rating is not the only factor affecting the amount of suction it produces.

Less powerful models regularly outperform those with a higher power rating. Design, how full the bag is and how often filters are cleaned all contribute to how good a vacuum clear is at its job.

Look out for independent reviews that measure a vacuum cleaner’s suction power in relation to how full the dust bag or container is to get a better understanding of the suction power it produces.

New EU labelling regulations also mean manufacturers like Dyson, Hoover, Bosch and Samsung now need to display the effectiveness of their products across seven different categories including energy efficiency, dust pick-up performance on hard floors and carpets, and dust re-emission.

Attachments & Accessories

Most vacuum cleaners come with a number of accessories to clean upholstery and to reach narrow spaces and corners. Some models car store accessories inside the vacuum cleaner while some cylinder models have a holder attached to the telescopic tube.

Pet accessories

Pet hair can be difficult to remove from carpets are upholstery. To make cleaning after your furry friends easier, pet models are specifically designed to make lifting cat and dog hair easier.

Pet vacuum cleaners come with cleaning heads that include rotating brush bars, sometimes called power tools. They also use strong suction power to tackle even the most stubborn hair.

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Other Considerations

Capacity

If you have a large home, you might want to choose a vacuum cleaner with a larger capacity. This allows you to clean more of your home before needing to be emptied. But keep in mind that a larger capacity also means the vacuum cleaner is bigger, heavier and more difficult to manoeuvre.

Cable Length

A longer cable makes cleaning easier as you won’t need to switch plugs as often. Check the cable length of a vacuum cleaner before buying, as there can be significant variations between models. If you want to avoid the hassle of having a cable altogether, consider a battery powered vacuum cleaner. They can be a great alternative, especially if your home is relatively small.

Noise Level

Larger vacuum cleaners and particularly uprights can get quite noisy as their motors work extremely hard. It’s worth checking the operating noise level before buying to avoid any unpleasant surprises.