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Which vacuum cleaner brand?

Most reliable vacuum cleaner brands

By Matthew Knight

Article 1 of 10

Make your next vacuum cleaner one that will last. We survey thousands of members every year to find out which vacuum cleaner brands are the most and least reliable.

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We survey thousands of vacuum cleaner owners to find out which brands are most prone to breakdowns and developing faults. 

Deteriorating suction, overheating and broken motors are some of the most of the most common faults people experience with their vacuum cleaners. But you're much less likely to fall victim to these problems if you choose a vacuum cleaner brand with a five star reliability rating. 

Use the table below to see the reliability scores given to each brand based on how they behave in the homes of real owners. The higher the score, the more likely you are to have a fault-free experience.Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings in the table below. If you're not a member, sign up for a £1 trial to get instant access.

Once you've discovered the best brand for you, go straight to our our in-depth vacuum cleaner reviews to find the best model.

Which cylinder vacuum cleaner brands are the most reliable?
Brand Reliability star rating Percentage reliability score
96%
89%
81%
77%

Table notes
Ratings based on a survey of 1,107 Which? members in October 2016. Reliability star rating shows how each brand's reliability score compares to other vacuum cleaner brands. Table correct as of November 2016.
Sample sizes: Numatic 74, Miele 680, Bosch 90, Dyson 132

Key

Member Content
Which upright vacuum cleaner brands are the most reliable?
Brand   Reliability star rating Percentage reliability score
  93%
  84%
  77%
  75%
  70%
  67%
Table notes
Ratings based on a survey of 878 Which? members in October 2016. Reliability star rating shows how each brand's reliability score compares to other vacuum cleaner brands. Table correct as of November 2016.
Sample sizes: Dyson 497, Hoover 36, Miele 54, Panasonic 44, Sebo 79, Vax 78.

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Member Content

Which vacuum cleaners stay fault free the longest?

You've told us that you expect vacuum cleaners to last nine and a half years without developing a fault. Our tables below for cylinder and upright vacuum cleaners show you which brands are least likely to have developed a fault after one, five and ten years.

Which cylinder vacuum cleaner brand stays fault free the longest?
Brand % faults after one year % faults after five years % faults after ten years
1% 4% 4%
2% 10% 13%
10% 17% 19%
4% 22% 27%
Table notes
Ratings based on a survey of 1,107 Which? members in October 2016. Table correct as of November 2016. Sample sizes: Numatic 74, Miele 680, Bosch 90, Dyson 132

Key

Member Content
Which upright vacuum cleaner brand stays fault free the longest?
Brand % faults after one year % faults after five years % faults after ten years
1% 8% 10%
6% 19% 19%
5% 24% 27%
12% 23% 28%
5% 25% 32%

Table notes
Based on a survey of 878 Which? members in October 2016. Table correct as of November 2016. Sample sizes: Dyson 497, Hoover 36, Miele 54, Panasonic 44, Sebo 79, Vax 78.

Key

Member Content

How vacuum cleaner brands compare

Our data shows that whether you want an upright or a cylinder you should be able to get a really good vacuum cleaner that lasts longer than ten years - if you choose your brand wisely.

A third of the least reliable brand's machines will be in landfill by the time you get to ten years, but almost all of the most reliable brands vacuum cleaners will still be going strong.

96% of the most reliable brand of cylinder vacuum cleaner are still going strong after ten years.

Our reliability scores don't just take account of how long each product lasts before developing a fault, we also factor in the severity of the fault, so an engine failure is weighted more heavily than a broken accessory. We also take account of the age of the machine when it develops a fault, so if a vacuum cleaner breaks after a year, the brand is penalised more heavily in the overall reliability score. 

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 cylinder vacuum cleaners

According to our survey, the most common problems encountered with cylinder vacuum cleaners are:

  • 14% - suction deteriorating
  • 8% - over heating
  • 8% - broken motor

Common problems with upright vacuum cleaners

While suction drop-off is the biggest problem facing all vacuum cleaners, uprights - which are more likely to have a rotating brush bar in the floorhead - are more likely to suffer from issues with the brush not working properly, and broken motor belts.

  • 15% - suction deteriorating
  • 7% - brush not working properly
  • 6% - broken belt

The main way you can prevent suction deteriorating is to regularly empty your vacuum cleaner's dustbin or bag. The max capacity level is usually around a third of the dust canister on bagless models, so don't let it fill all the way up.

Make sure you regularly clean your filters too. If these are blocked then suction will start to drop.

How to fix common vacuum cleaner problems

If you're faced with some of the common vacuum cleaner problems below, we asked repairers to vote on whether they can be easily fixed at home, as well as the typical cost of getting the problem repaired, to help you decide what to do.

Broken filter

Cost of professional repair: around £38.

Repairers’ advice: the advice from repairers was split down the middle between fixing it yourself and getting it sorted professionally. A couple of those who advised the latter said that you can make the problem worse if you don’t know what you’re doing. But many of those who advised repairing it yourself said it was easy to do, and one said: ‘You can buy filters from shops like Argos, and they’re designed to be easily replaced.’ Others pointed out that instruction manuals explain how to replace the filter. 

Our advice: you should be able to unblock the filter yourself with the help of the manual. If you need a replacement filter, it typically costs between £5 and £20.

A broken drive belt caused by accidentally sucking up a curtain

Repairers’ advice: most recommended getting it repaired by a professional. Drive belts are ‘fiddly’ and involve taking the machine apart, so it’s not something that can be done easily. Repairers stressed the importance of making sure it was fixed properly so as not to cause any more problems. There were a few dissenters, though – one said that it can be easily accessed, while another said that the instruction manual is likely to give full instructions on how to fix the problem.

Cost of professional repair: around £40.

Our advice: check the instruction manual. If it’s not covered there, call a repairer.

Vacuum cleaner not working due to a damaged or faulty mains cable

Repairers’ advice: three in five repairers we spoke to advised getting it repaired professionally. One said: ‘Plain and simple, it is dangerous to carry out any electrical repair if you are not qualified,’ and others echoed this view. 

Cost of professional repair Around £47.50.

Our advice Stay safe by getting a repairer in.

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