Reliable vacuum cleaner brandsby Matthew Knight
Avoid an expensive mistake and make sure you buy a reliable vacuum cleaner. We survey thousands of members every year to find out which vacuum cleaner brands are the most and least reliable.
Put us to the test
Our Test Labs compare features and prices on a range of products. Try Which? to unlock our reviews. You'll instantly be able to compare our test scores, so you can make sure you don't get stuck with a Don't Buy.
- Get the Which? verdict from our independent experts
- Weigh up the pros and cons in an instant
- Go to town on the details with our full review
- Read our member reviews to see what they think
- Is it a Don’t Buy? It could be a dud, and a costly one too
- 241 Vacuum cleaners available
In the table below we reveal the most and least reliable vacuum cleaner brands according to our annual survey of thousands of Which? members.
Most and least reliable cylinder vacuum cleaner brands
We conduct a survey with thousands of members every year who own each different brand of vacuum cleaner, so that we can tell you how reliable each brand is and how satisfied our members are with their vacuum cleaners.
The highest-scoring brand has a reliability score of 85% - find out which brand it is in our table below. We have reliability scores for brands including Bosch, Dyson, Electrolux, Miele, Numatic (the manufacturer behind the popular Henry vacuum cleaner) and Vax. The worst score for a cylinder vac brand is a shocking 47%. Once you've discovered the best brand for you, go straight to our our in-depth area to find the best model.
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 a member, you can sign up to try out full access for one month for just £1.
|Cylinder vacuum cleaner brands rated for reliability|
|Brand||Value rating||Reliability score||Star rating|
How cylinder vacuum cleaner brands compare
85% the score achieved by the most reliable cylinder vacuum brand in our survey.
Our survey reveals that it isn't necessarily the most expensive brands that get the best reliability scores. It also shows that, of all the Which? members who own a cylinder vacuum cleaner and responded to the survey, more than half own a Miele. The second most-owned cylinder vac brand in our survey is Dyson.
Reliability scores are based on the proportion of appliances with problems per brand, and faults are weighted so more-serious problems account for more of the score. A brand needs at least 30 survey responses to get a score. We also ask owners the extent to which the product they own represents value for money, and assign a rating to each brand based on the views of those who own them. It isn't always the cheapest that are considered the best value for money.
Common problems with cylinder vacuum cleaners
- Suction deteriorated 20%
- Broken accessories 12%
- Brush not working properly 11%
Through our annual survey, we’ve heard from more than 400 of you about various niggles, such as problems with overheating and a vac being unusually noisy. We've also had feedback on serious faults, such as broken motors, electrical faults and broken controls.
As a category, cylinder vacuum cleaners prove to be more reliable than upright models in our survey.
|Upright vacuum cleaner brands rated for reliability|
|Brand||Value for money||Reliability score||Reliability star rating|
How upright vacuum cleaner brands compare
86%The score achieved by the most reliable brand of upright vacuum cleaners in our survey.
Of all the Which? members who own an upright vacuum cleaner and responded to our survey, 57% own an upright Dyson vac. To read reviews of individual models, you can go straight to our Dyson vacuum cleaner reviews. The second-most-owned brand is Sebo with 9%.
Reliability scores are based on the proportion of appliances with problems per brand, and faults are weighted so more-serious problems account for more of the score. A brand needs at least 30 survey responses to get a score.
Common problems with upright vacuum cleaners
- Suction deteriorated 24%
- Broken belt 17%
- Split hose 14%
We asked which members about the faults and problems they'd encountered with their upright vacuum cleaner. We’ve heard back from almost 700 of you about various niggles, such as problems with blocked filters and the upright lock, as well as serious faults, including problems with suction, casing being cracked, overheating and broken belts.
As a category, upright vacuum cleaners prove to be less reliable than cylinder models in our survey.
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 assess how well the vacuums suck it up.
You may also notice that the weight of a vacuum cleaner differs from the weight listed by the manufacturer - this is because we weigh the vacuum with all its on-board attachments, giving 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.
Best Buy vacs
A vacuum cleaner can only 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 if it has a free five-year warranty. But as cylinder vacuum cleaners are generally reliable as a category, we also allow cylinder models to be Best Buys even if they don’t yet have a reliability rating in our survey.
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.