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Is Asda’s £36 Goblin vacuum cleaner really better than a Dyson?

We examine the facts behind the headlines to bring you our verdict on whether this cheap vacuum cleaner is worth buying

We’ve spotted reports that shoppers are raving about a cheap Asda vacuum that’s currently on sale.

At £36, reduced from £59.96, the Goblin White Upright Vacuum GVU401R-18 is one of the cheapest vacuum cleaners you can buy, and one reviewer claims that its suction power can rival a Dyson vacuum.

It’s sold out online, although if you’re quick you might find it in an Asda store. But is it really one to snap up?

We haven’t tested this exact model, but some other Goblin vacuums have performed poorly in our tests, so we’d recommend caution with this model.

We also scoured the comments on the original post about this vacuum cleaner, and the online reviews, to see what owners thought. While some owners do like it, others report issues with it being hard to push, noisy and flimsy, with multiple reports of parts breaking or snapping soon after buying.

See our full Goblin GSV401W foldable 2-in-1 stick review to see how we rated one of the brand’s cordless vacuums.


Dyson vacuum cleaner reviews – find out whether they’re worth paying more for


Goblin upright vacuum cleaner – how does it compare on specs?

This Goblin vacuum is a traditional upright corded model. It weighs 4.8kg, which is a couple of kilograms lighter than the Dyson Light Ball upright vacuum cleaner (£189).

It’s bagless and comes with a two-in-one crevice and dusting tool for smaller cleaning jobs, although there’s no upholstery tool, which is usually included as standard. A spare filter and drive belt are included.

At six metres, the cable is a little short (you’ll get just over 10 metres with the Dyson), as is the two-metre long flexible cleaning hose, so it may not be convenient if you need to clean larger areas or vacuum the stairs.

While you might be happy to sacrifice some extras for a bargain price, it’s also worth thinking about how long your vac might last. See our guide to the most reliable vacuum cleaner brands for our top recommendations.

Are cheap vacuum cleaners any good?

Corded vacuum cleaners are generally cheaper than cordless ones, but it’s still possible to pay up to £300 for big names such as Dyson, Miele and Shark. So what if your budget just doesn’t stretch that far?

We’ve tested plenty of cheaper models in our quest to find the best-value options, and have found that cheap vacuum cleaners can be really hit and miss.

A rare few clean well enough for us to recommend them, but many others prove to be rubbish at cleaning, or awkward and frustrating to use.

 

It is possible to find a bargain cleaner for less than £100, but you’ll have to choose wisely. We’ve found one high-scoring Best Buy that can compete with other models at more than twice the price.

Another doesn’t score quite as well as our very best vacuums, but costs less than £50 and is well worth considering.

Watch out for the duds, though. We’ve tested 10 cheap vacuums that are so bad we recommend you avoid them altogether.

Our verdict

We’re not convinced this vac is a safe bet if you want a good cheap vacuum. For a tried-and-tested alternative, see our vacuum cleaner reviews to find out which cheaper vacuums defy the odds and clean well on a budget.

Where do cheap vacuums fall down?

Cheap vacuums often disappoint on the essentials – some are next to useless at sucking dust and debris out of carpets, or struggle to clean well across a range of different floor types.

They also are more likely to have poor filters, meaning that they’ll let dust escape back into your home. Plus, some are really noisy.

Want to know which models to avoid? See our full list of Don’t Buy corded vacuum cleaners for the worst offenders.

What do you get if you pay more?

Upping your budget doesn’t guarantee brilliant cleaning – we’ve found that some pricey vacuum cleaners can be surprisingly disappointing. But it can mean access to premium features designed to make the chore of cleaning easier.

  • Longer power cords – you’re likely to get eight metres or more, which can help you get round the house faster, without having to constantly swap power sockets.
  • More cleaning accessories / support for spares – spare parts can make your vacuum last longer, and extra accessories can help you to clean tricky areas more easily.
  • Larger dust capacity – this means you won’t have to empty your vacuum cleaner’s dust container as often.

See our top picks in our round-up of the best vacuum cleaners you can buy.

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