Why you shouldn't pay more than £300 for a vacuum cleanerYou can get a top class vac for half that amount

03 March 2014

You don’t have to spend a fortune to get a good vacuum cleaner. Our research shows there is no real increase in quality once you pay more than this amount - and you can even get yourself a Best Buy vacuum for less than £150.

We’ve analysed the results of more than 150 Which? test lab reviews to work out how much you need to spend to get a great value vac – and how to avoid shelling out on a dud model.

To show how price affects cleaning power, we’ve plotted the price and score of in the graph below. The blue line shows the average for all of the vacs we have tested and represents value for money. You can see the best vacs at the top and the worst at the bottom, with the price increasing as you move towards the right.

Graph showing plotted BB and DB vacuum cleaners

To find out where the model you own appears on this graph and which are the best value Best Buy models we recommend, Which? members should log in to our full vacuum cleaner reviews. If you're not already a Which? member, get instant access with a £1 trial to Which?.

7 things you need to know before you buy a vacuum cleaner

1. The cheapest Best Buy vacuum cleaner that excels in our tests costs just less than £150. To find out which model it is take a look at our .

2. At the moment you can buy a vac that only just misses out on a Which? Best Buy for less than £100. You don't see many sub-£100 models this impressive.

3. While you can pay up to £450 for a vacuum cleaner, our testing shows that there is currently no real increase in quality once you go beyond £300, so don’t pay more than that if you can help it.

4. The range in prices of similar quality vacs can be astonishing. You can save £322 by not buying the £450 model that gets a test score of 77% and spending £128 on a vac which gets 76%. The difference between the two is tiny, with the cheaper model getting one star less in a couple of areas.

5. Try and get a vac that sits above the value for money line. As you would expect, performance does tend to increase with price, however there are nearly as many below the line as above it. This means that without careful research there is a real risk that you could have bought a better model for the money you spent on your vacuum cleaner.

6. The best vac we have ever tested is currently available for £350.

7. With the odd rare exception, vacs below the £100 mark tend to score poorly in our lab tests, but if your budget can stretch to between £100 and £150 then there are some great models out there for you and even some Best Buys.

How we test vacuum cleaners

We test all of the latest models and biggest sellers on the high street and online to get a full picture of the market and so can tell you, with confidence, which vacs are a great deal and which to avoid.

Our lab testing involves not only examining a vacs ability at picking up dust and pet hair from carpets, laminate and floorboards; but also incorporates ease of use asessments so we can tell you if the model is suitable for stairs and how easy it is to use around the home.

More on this…