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Top five vacuum cleaners for 2017

By Matthew Knight

We round up our favourite top-scoring Best Buy vacuum cleaners in five different categories, to help you find the best vacuum for your home.

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Don't get stuck with a vacuum cleaner that fails to suck up ingrained grime, leaks allergens back into your home, or is a nightmare to use. We've rounded up our five top vacuum picks for 2017 - plus the vacuum cleaners to avoid - to help you find the right one for you.

The vacuum cleaners in the table below have all gone through our rigorous lab tests, so you can be sure they'll do a great job of leaving your floors and other surfaces clean and dust-free. Whether you're after a bagged, bagless, upright, cylinder or cordless vacuum cleaner, we've picked out the best options. 

On a budget? We've included our best value vacuum cleaners which both come in at less than £150. If you just want to see all the models we recommend, head to our full round-up of the best vacuum cleaners and best cordless vacuum cleaners.

Only logged-in Which? members can view our picks in the table below. If you're not yet a member, sign up for a £1 trial to get instant access.

Best cylinder vacuum cleaner

Typical price £330.00
Which? score 79%
Reviewed Jun 2017
Best Buy
Carpet cleaning:
5 out of 5
Laminate cleaning:
2 out of 5
Crevice cleaning:
5 out of 5
Large debris removal:
3 out of 5
Hair and fibre removal:
4 out of 5
Allergen retention:
5 out of 5
Type (cylinder/upright):
Member exclusive
Bagged or bagless:
Member exclusive
Capacity (l):
Member exclusive
Weight (kg):
Member exclusive

This bagless vacuum cleaner is quite simply the best we have tested under the current test program. It is great for cleaning carpets and hard floors, and it handles either longer hair or pet hair with ease. It also has a dial that lets you adjust the power, so you can turn it up or down according to the surface you are cleaning. It doesn't cost the earth either, so if you are after a bagless cylinder cleaner this is our top recommendation.

Best upright vacuum cleaner

Lowest price (in stock) £269.97
Which? score 75%
Reviewed Jan 2016
Best Buy
Carpet cleaning:
4 out of 5
Laminate cleaning:
4 out of 5
Crevice cleaning:
5 out of 5
Large debris removal:
5 out of 5
Hair and fibre removal:
5 out of 5
Allergen retention:
5 out of 5
Type (cylinder/upright):
Member exclusive
Bagged or bagless:
Member exclusive
Capacity (l):
Member exclusive
Weight (kg):
Member exclusive

This is a top class upright vacuum cleaner. It is particularly good at sucking up pet hair, it absolutelly blitzed the pet hair we embedded into carpet during our testing. It's also no slouch when it comes to cleaning carpets and hard floors of fine dust and also larger debris. It is a bit on the noisy side, and like most uprights it's quite heavy, but all things considered we don’t think you can do better when it comes to upright vacuum cleaners.

Best value cylinder vacuum cleaner

Lowest price (in stock) £114.97
Which? score 71%
Reviewed Feb 2016
Carpet cleaning:
4 out of 5
Laminate cleaning:
4 out of 5
Crevice cleaning:
5 out of 5
Large debris removal:
1 out of 5
Hair and fibre removal:
4 out of 5
Allergen retention:
5 out of 5
Type (cylinder/upright):
Member exclusive
Bagged or bagless:
Member exclusive
Capacity (l):
Member exclusive
Weight (kg):
Member exclusive

This bagged vacuum isn't quite a Best Buy, mainly because it doesn't do as well when cleaning up large debris as the very best vacuum cleaners we've tested. However it is brilliant at cleaning carpet and on hard floors. What is so fantastic about this vacuum is the price. We have sometimes seen it on offer for as little as £90. The brand that make this vacuum cleaner has a really good reliability record and its vacuums tend to be top notch. If you are after a bargain that you can tell your friends about, then this is one of the best out there.

Best value upright vacuum cleaner

Typical price £100.00
Which? score 75%
Reviewed Jun 2016
Best Buy
Carpet cleaning:
5 out of 5
Laminate cleaning:
2 out of 5
Crevice cleaning:
5 out of 5
Large debris removal:
5 out of 5
Hair and fibre removal:
5 out of 5
Allergen retention:
5 out of 5
Type (cylinder/upright):
Member exclusive
Bagged or bagless:
Member exclusive
Capacity (l):
Member exclusive
Weight (kg):
Member exclusive

This upright vacuum cleaner really impressed us, and not only because it is available from as little as £130. This vacuum cleaner cleans carpet brilliantly, is great on pet hair and fibres and keeps allergens locked up nice and tight within the machine. If you are after a bargain upright, then this is the best choice around.

Best cordless vacuum cleaner

Typical price £399.00
Which? score 81%
Reviewed Oct 2017
Best Buy
Carpet cleaning:
5 out of 5
Floorboard cleaning:
5 out of 5
Laminate floor cleaning:
4 out of 5
Pet hair removal:
5 out of 5
Allergen retention:
5 out of 5
Weight:
Member exclusive
Detachable handheld:
Member exclusive
Dust capacity in litres:
Member exclusive
Charge time:
Member exclusive
Run time in minutes:
Member exclusive
Turbo run time:
Member exclusive

This cordless vacuum cleans up on our tough dust and debris tests and is the best cordless vacuum cleaner we have tested so far. It's great on carpets and hard floors and sucks up pet hair quickly too. The battery on this cordless cleaner lasts for well over an hour. In handheld mode, it’s a bit awkward to use, especially if you want to tackle smaller spaces like inside a car. Overall though, it cleans so well it is well worthy of its place at the top.

Two vacuum cleaners to avoid in 2017

Cheap vacuum cleaners can look tempting, especially when they look similar to pricier rivals. While we have found some gems that cost less than £100 and shine in our tests, we've also uncovered some dreadful vacuums that fail to suck up dust and dirt from your surfaces and are an almighty inconvenience to use. Below we highlight two terrible vacuum cleaners that you should avoid.

Don't Buy vacuum cleaner

Typical price £59.00
Which? score 38%
Reviewed Jun 2016
Carpet cleaning:
3 out of 5
Laminate cleaning:
1 out of 5
Crevice cleaning:
1 out of 5
Large debris removal:
4 out of 5
Hair and fibre removal:
4 out of 5
Allergen retention:
2 out of 5
Type (cylinder/upright):
Member exclusive
Bagged or bagless:
Member exclusive
Capacity (l):
Member exclusive
Weight (kg):
Member exclusive

Don't be tempted by the price tag of this vacuum cleaner. It is terrible at cleaning hard floors and its allergen retention is appalling, which makes it a poor choice for allergy sufferers.

Typical price £54.00
Which? score 36%
Reviewed Jun 2017
Carpet cleaning:
3 out of 5
Laminate cleaning:
1 out of 5
Crevice cleaning:
1 out of 5
Large debris removal:
1 out of 5
Hair and fibre removal:
5 out of 5
Allergen retention:
4 out of 5
Type (cylinder/upright):
Member exclusive
Bagged or bagless:
Member exclusive
Capacity (l):
Member exclusive
Weight (kg):
Member exclusive

In our experience, very cheap vacuum cleaners are rarely worth the hassle and this vacuum cleaner is no exception. It’s poor on hard floors, difficult to use on the stairs, and, to top it off, incredibly noisy.

Why Which? vacuum reviews are better

Our tests go further than those carried out by other organisations and, because Which? is independent and does not accept advertising or freebies, you can trust our reviews to give you the full, honest and impartial truth about a product.

When testing vacuum cleaners in the Which? test lab, we spread super-fine sand from Arizona over a thick carpet and grind it in. We then strap the vacuum cleaner onto a rig and run it over the carpet five times to see how much dust it sucks up. Bad vacuums pick up less than half, while Best Buys remove twice as much.

As well as the amount of dust that's removed from carpets and hard floors, we also measure how much noise the vacuum cleaner makes, whether suction is lost as the machine fills up, how well it removes pet hairs and long hair from the carpet, and whether it can suck up larger debris.

We don't just test standard vacuum cleaners - get our verdict on the best cordless vacuums, handheld vacuums and robot vacuums too.

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