New energy regulations coming into force today mean that a range of popular vacuum cleaners from big-name brands will now be too noisy or powerful to sell after current stocks run out.
The 2017 vacuum cleaners energy label implements a new, tougher maximum power level of 900W, cuts the maximum noise a vacuum can make to 80dB and requires vacuum cleaners to pass two durability tests – one on the hose and another on the motor.
While the cut in power from 1,600W to 900W may seem dramatic, it’s actually the limit on noise that will affect a larger number of vacuum cleaners, particularly upright models, which tend to be noisier than their cylinder counterparts.
Keep scrolling to see five popular vacuum cleaners that will be affected by the move. If you’ve got your heart set on one, all isn’t lost – the ban comes into effect from today, but retailers can continue to sell stock as long as they have it, so they should be around for a little while yet.
Just want a vacuum that’s brilliant at cleaning and won’t make a racket? See our guide to the best vacuum cleaners.
Five popular vacuum cleaners that will be phased out from 1 September 2017:
Dyson Cinetic Big Ball upright, £350*
Dyson’s flagship filter-free vacuum cleaner falls foul of the new rules on two counts: it’s too powerful and too noisy. So if you’re tempted then how’s the time to buy.
Dyson Cinetic vacuums are unique in that they are bagless but also have no filters that need cleaning or replacing over time. Instead, the soft rubber tips on the cyclones oscillate at high speed when you vacuum, flinging fine dust out of the air, and doing the job of a filter. So while this Dyson is pricey up front, it should have no ongoing maintenance costs.
It’s not the end for Dyson’s Cinetic technology though – the Dyson Cinetic cylinder vacuums will still be available. Find out if the upright version is worth snapping up in our Dyson Cinetic Big Ball upright review.
Dyson DC40 Animal, £180
Most of Dyson’s upright range is being wiped out by the ban – and the DC40 Animal is no exception as it’s over the noise limit. This vac will set you back around £180, and for the price you get an upright vacuum cleaner with a relatively small 0.9-litre capacity. It comes with a Dyson’s signature ‘tangle-free’ mini turbo tool for lifting up pet hair from upholstery, and its extendable wand is designed to help you get to those hard-to-reach spots in the house.
Dyson announced earlier this week that the new energy label compliant Light Ball range would replace the DC40. But if you’d rather plump for the older version, check how this vacuum cleaner fared in our independent tests in the full Dyson DC40 Animal review.
Miele Complete C3 Cat & Dog Powerline, £200
As the name gives away, this £200 bagged vacuum cleaner from Miele has a 1,200W motor, which means you won’t see it around for much longer in its current form. This pet-friendly vacuum has a solid set of specs, and is one of the most popular models on our site, packing a 3.3 litre dust capacity and 10.9m reach into a compact 7.4kg body.
See how it scored in our tough cleaning tests by reading our Miele Complete C3 Cat & Dog review.
Shark Lift Away NV680UKT, £180
Shark’s Lift Away vacuum cleaner has proved popular on our website since its release, but it’s set to be phased out as it’s too noisy. It costs around £180 and has a fairly average dust capacity of 1.5 litres. One reason for its popularity is the nifty lift-away canister that allows you to hold it in your hand as you clean the stairs, without lugging the whole vac up and down.
Did this Shark vacuum score highly enough to earn our Best Buy recommendation? Read the full Shark Lift Away NV680UK review to find out.
Vax Air Pet U87-MA-PE, £100
We’ll soon be waving goodbye to this cheap and cheerful Vax too. The purse-friendly Vax Air Pet has a dust capacity of 1.2 litres, and comes bundled with various accessories including an upholstery and dusting nozzle and a turbo brush for removing pet hair. It makes a bit of a racket as it goes though, so it’s on the chopping block.
Is its fluff-busting ability worth putting up with a bit of noise for? See the full Vax Air Pet U87-MA-PE review to find out.
What about Henry?
With at least some models from most well-known vacuum cleaner brands impacted by the new EU ruling, will the much-loved Henry Hoover survive the purge?
You’ll be pleased to hear that Henry is safe, as he doesn’t break the volume limit or the power limit. We’ve tested a range of the jolly Numatic vacuums, including the Harry HHR200-A2 (below left) and Henry HVR200-A2 (below right). See our Numatic vacuum cleaner reviews to compare the range and get our verdict.
Cordless vacuum cleaners are unaffected by the ban, so the new Cordless Henry vacuum is also sticking around.
How noisy is a vacuum cleaner over 80dB?
The decibel scale isn’t linear, so a difference of a couple of dB can have more of an impact than you might think. Once you pass 80dB, you’re heading into territory where your vacuum cleaner could give a busy road a run for its money.
Finding the best vacuum cleaner
The main thing to remember is that more juice doesn’t equal better cleaning – we’ve tested thousands of vacuum cleaners and our tests have shown that motor power is no indicator of cleaning ability. Other factors such as the floorhead design play an important role in how effective a vacuum cleaner is at sucking up dust and grime.
What’s more, good sound engineering and insulation can significantly reduce the noise levels on a vacuum cleaner, without impacting its performance.
We test every vacuum cleaner to see how good they are at clearing up all manner of household dirt, from fine dust to hair and fluff. We also flag the heavy, noisy or awkward-to-use models, and ones that leak allergens back into your home instead of keeping them tightly locked up.
To see which vacuum cleaners have topped our tests this year, head to our guide on the top five vacuum cleaners for 2017.
*prices correct as of 1 September 2017