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Top-scoring vacuum cleaners for 2016

Which? unveils eight new Best Buys


We put vacuum cleaners through more than 50 individual tests to determine which are best, and the ones to avoid

Looking to upgrade or replace your vacuum cleaner in 2016? Look no further than our latest reviews. 

Not only have we just added over 20 new reviews, including popular models from brands such as Dyson, Miele and Vax, we’ve also improved our testing so that it better reflects the kind of obstacles and grime you’ll face when cleaning at home.

Eight vacuum cleaners passed our new tougher test with flying colours, but one did so badly – scoring a pitiful 43% – that we’ve named it a Don’t Buy. 

To find out which vacuum cleaners came out on top, and the ones to avoid, head straight to our independent vacuum cleaner reviews.

New vacuum cleaner tests

Our new and improved vacuum cleaner test includes more than 50 individual tests and assessments. We challenge vacuums to deal with all sorts of grime: fine dust, larger debris, pet hair, longer hair, corners, stairs – and more. 

We also ensure they are easy to use, aren’t too noisy, and keep dust locked away. Finally, we check if suction drops off as they fill up with dust, to make sure you’ll get a decent clean every time, not just the first few times. 

Our new tests include:

  • Longer hair pick up – we use real human hair (from a salon) for this.
  • Large debris pick up – we use rice to check that each vacuum can tackle larger spills.
  • Fibre removal from upholstery – each vacuum is rated on how well it sucks up lint fibres from sofa cushions.
  • Improved ease of use testing – we look at how versatile the vacuum is and how easy it is to reach tricky spots for cleaning.

We test in large batches in the same laboratory and under the same stringent conditions, so that you can accurately compare the results of one vacuum cleaner to another.

Whether you want a vacuum cleaner that is perfect for pet owners, allergy sufferers, or one that will do everything well, you can use our vacuum cleaner reviews to find it and be sure that you have chosen the very best machine for your needs.

Why Which? reviews are better

We go to great lengths to make sure our tests reflect real world use. For example, to test how well each vacuum can suck up pet fur and fluff from thick carpets, we painstakingly comb real fur into the carpet until it is properly entangled and caught within the pile, just like it would be in your home, before timing how long it takes each vacuum to get all of it up again. 

Similarly, for our carpet dust pick up test, we don’t just sprinkle some fine dust onto a carpet – instead we use a giant roller to go over and over the dust so that it is deeply embedded in the carpet pile before we begin testing. 

Only the best vacuum cleaners can handle all of the tough cleaning tests we put them through, while also being easy to use and having no annoying quirks. To see which vacuum cleaners we recommend, skip to our list of Best Buy vacuum cleaners.

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