Vacuum cleaner reviews: Reliability

96%The score achieved by the most reliable brand of cylinder vacuum in our survey

Every year we survey thousands of Which? members to ask about any problems they've had with their home appliances in order to find out which brands are the most reliable. Here we reveal the most reliable upright and cylinder vacuum cleaner brands that should give you unrivalled service.

Our survey has also revealed that of all the Which? members who own a cylinder vacuum cleaner and responded to the survey, more than half own a Miele. To read individual reviews of Miele vacs, you can go straight to our Miele vacuum cleaner reviews. The second most owned cylinder vac in the survey is Bosch.

Reliable cylinder vacuum cleaner brands

The highest-scoring brand has a reliability score of 96% - find out which brand it is in our table below. We have reliability scores for brands including Dyson, Miele, Bosch, Vax, Electrolux and Numatic - the manufacturer behind the popular Henry vacuum cleaner. The worst score is 77%.

For an at-a-glance guide to the best and worst cylinder vacuum cleaner brands according to our reliability survey, Which? members can log in to unlock the score table below. If you're not already a member, you can sign up to try out full access for one month, for just £1. Once you've discovered the best brand for you, go straight to our our in-depth vacuum cleaner reviews area to find the best model.

Cylinder vacuum cleaner brands rated for reliability
BrandScoreRating
BoschSubscriber only contentSubscriber only content
DysonSubscriber only contentSubscriber only content
ElectroluxSubscriber only contentSubscriber only content
MieleSubscriber only contentSubscriber only content
NumaticSubscriber only contentSubscriber only content
SeboSubscriber only contentSubscriber only content
VaxSubscriber only contentSubscriber only content

Common problems with cylinder vacuum cleaners

Through our annual survey, we’ve heard from more than 3,500 of you about niggles such as problems with the auto-rewind feature and the vac being unusually noisy. We've also had feedback on serious faults such as broken motors, electrical faults and broken controls.

  • Blocked filters 17%
  • Suction loss 11% 
  • Broken accessories 10%

92%The score achieved by the most reliable brand of upright vacuum cleaners in our survey

Upright vacuum cleaners

Of all the Which? members who own an upright vacuum cleaner and responded to our survey, 56% own an upright Dyson vacuum cleaner. To read reviews of individual models, you can go straight to our Dyson vacuum cleaner reviews. The second most owned brand is Sebo, with 10%.

Upright vacuum cleaner reliability

The highest-scoring brand of upright vac has a reliability score of 92% - find out which brand it is in the table below. You'll find reliability scores for big brands including Dyson, Miele, Sebo, Hoover, Vax, Panasonic and Electrolux. The lowest score is 68%.

For an at-a-glance guide to the best and worst upright vacuum cleaner brands according to our reliability survey, Which? members can log in to unlock the score table below. If you're not already a member, you can sign up to try out full access for one month, for just £1. Once you've discovered the best brand for you, go straight to our our in-depth vacuum cleaner reviews area to find the best model.

 

Upright vacuum cleaner brands rated for reliability
BrandScoreRating
DysonSubscriber only contentSubscriber only content
ElectroluxSubscriber only contentSubscriber only content
HooverSubscriber only contentSubscriber only content
MieleSubscriber only contentSubscriber only content
PanasonicSubscriber only contentSubscriber only content
SeboSubscriber only contentSubscriber only content
VaxSubscriber only contentSubscriber only content

Common problems with upright vacuum cleaners

We asked which members about the faults and problems they'd encountered with their upright vacuum cleaner. We’ve heard back from more than 3,500 of you about niggles such as problems with blocked filters and the upright lock, as well as very serious faults including problems with suction, casing being cracked, overheating and broken belts. The most common problems are:

  • Blocked filters 15% 
  • Broken belt 11% 
  • Brush 9%
Henry vacuum - yellow

Look for vacuum cleaners with a reliability score of three stars or more

Best Buy vacs

A vacuum cleaner can qualify as a Best Buy if its brand scores at least three stars in our survey of thousands of owners - in which we ask how often their appliances have broken down - or it has a free five-year warranty. But as cylinder vacuum cleaners are generally reliable, we also allow models to be Best Buys if they don’t yet have a reliability rating, unless we know this brand has a poor track record for similar appliances.

Vacuum cleaner reviews you can trust

Nobody tests vacuum cleaners as thoroughly as we do. Our tests monitor dust pick-up on carpet, laminate and hard floors, and when it comes to seeing how well each model copes with pet hair, we comb real cat and dog hair into carpet to see how well the vacs work.

You may also notice that the weight of the vacuum cleaner differs from the weights listed by the manufacturers - this is because we weigh the vacuum with all on-board attachments, so it's a more realistic figure. We also don’t just test the vacuum when it's empty, but fill it up in stages to see whether suction drops off as the bag or canister becomes full.

Which? is independent - we work for you, the consumer, so you can be sure that our product recommendations are influenced only by our test results. We don't take advertising and we buy all the products that we test ourselves, so our advice helps you to make the right choice first time and avoid costly mistakes.

More on this...

  • Looking for a new vacuum cleaner? Take a look at our reviews for Best Buy vacuum cleaners
  • Want to know how we rate vacuum cleaners?  See our guide on How we test vacuum cleaners
  • Confused about all the different features available? Have your questions answered with our Vacuum cleaner FAQs