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Top vacuum cleaner brands for 2019

By Matthew Knight

Choose a vacuum cleaner brand that lasts. Our unique survey data reveals which brands, from leading brands including Dyson, Hoover and Vax, develop the least faults over time and which ones make customers happy. 

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In this article:

A complete loss of suction, blocked filters or the brush bar no longer working are the most common vacuum cleaner problems according to our survey of 3,898 vacuum cleaner owners in the UK. 

Knowing which brands develop the most faults and how quickly is vital when you're buying a new vacuum cleaner. That's why each year we ask nearly 10,000 Which? members to tell us whether they are happy, or if they have experienced problems with their home appliances in our unique reliability and customer satisfaction survey.

Our survey data takes into account the frequency of faults reported for each brand, the severity of these faults, and how soon after buying they occur. We've got data on all the big vacuum cleaner brands, including Dyson, Miele, Vax, Hoover, Numatic, Sebo and more, so we can tell you which brands to choose - and the ones to avoid.

Best vs worst: vacuum cleaner brands compared 

 

As the table reveals, there is a big difference between the most and least reliable brands, and the satisfaction levels reported by owners of different brands. 

The most reliable vacuum cleaner brands 

The table below summarises this year’s reliability results. Brands are ranked by their customer score, which relates to whether their customers would recommend it. The more stars for reliability, the fewer the problems reported. 

Only logged-in Which? members can view which brands are the most and least reliable, and which members are most satisfied with, in the table below. If you're not yet a member, join Which? today to get instant access.

Brand Reliability rating Reliability score Customer satisfaction score
89% 83%
86% 82%
84% 82%
83% 73%
68% 68%
66% 64%
67% 63%
72% 58%
66% 58%
65% 56%
Table notes
Based on a survey of 3,898 Which? members who own vacuum cleaners, conducted in September 2018.

Key

Member Content

Common vacuum cleaner problems 

The most common problem people experience with their vacuum cleaners is either a complete loss of suction or noticeably deteriorated suction. This could either be as a result of a deterioration in motor performance, or blocked airways / filters within the vacuum cleaner. 

Two of the three most common faults for a vacuum cleaner are usually easily repairable. If you regularly clean and maintain your vacuums filters, then they shouldn't get blocked and adversely impact the performance of the vacuum.

If your brush bar stops working, and cleaning it doesn't fix the problem, it's usually relatively easy to get hold of a replacement belt and fit it yourself.

For a handy video guide to restoring suction in your vacuum, see our vacuum cleaner maintenance guide.

Which vacuum cleaner brands stay fault free for longest 



 



 

The graph above shows how the brand that stays fault-free for longest compares with the worst brand, as well as the overall average. Which? members can see how brands compare for faults over a five-year period in the table below.

Vacuum cleaner brands rated 


Only logged-in Which? members can view which brands achieved the ratings and verdicts in the table below. If you're not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access. 

Brand name % fault-free after five years
91% 
88%
86%
84%
71%
71%
70%
70%
68%
65%
Table notes
Based on a survey of 3,898 Which? members who own vacuum cleaners, conducted in September 2018.

Key

Member Content

How we measure vacuum cleaner reliability

When calculating reliabilitiy, we categorise and take into account minor, major and catastrophic faults.

  • Minor A fault that doesn't affect the product's performance significantly or that only occurs occasionally with minimal impact. This issue may be irritating or annoying but it isn't frequently problematic and you can easily work around it. For example, if an accessory you don't use very often breaks.
  • Major A fault that has a noticeable effect on performance. This fault affects how you use the product and can be problematic. For example, if there is a split in the hose which significantly impacts the performance of the vacuum.
  • Catastrophic A fault that renders the product unusable, with the fault needing to be repaired or parts replaced before it can be used again. For example, the vacuum cleaner's motor might cut out intermittently, or not turn on at all.

 Vacuum cleaner brands rated

We've pulled together our reliability and customer insight for the major brands, alongside their average performance in our independent vacuum cleaner tests. Choose a brand from the list below to see all the data and get our verdict on whether it's a brand worth buying.

Dyson vacuum cleaners overview table
Number tested 9
Number of Best Buys
Average test score
Brand reliability rating
Customer score (%)
Typical spend
Table notes Average test score based on results of models tested under the latest test programme and available to buy as of November 2018. The customer score and brand reliability rating are based on a Which? member survey of 1,148 Dyson vacuum cleaner owners conducted in September 2018. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend, and reliability is based on members’ experience of that brand. Table last updated 3 December 2018.

Key

Member Content
  • Find out how well Dyson vacuum cleaners score for reliability, and how Dyson fares against rival vacuum cleaner brands such as Vax and Miele.
  • Discover whether any Dyson vacuum cleaners have impressed enough to be rated as Best Buys - or have been judged poor enough to be Don't Buys.
  • Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings and verdicts. If you're not yet a member, Join Which? to get instant access.
Hoover vacuum cleaner overview table
Number tested 16
Number of Best Buys
Average test score
Brand reliability rating
Customer score (%)
Typical spend
Table notes Average test score based on results of models tested under the latest test programme and available to buy as of November 2018. The customer score and brand reliability rating are based on a Which? member survey of 121 Hoover vacuum cleaner owners conducted in September/October 2018. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend, and reliability is based on members’ experience of that brand. Table last updated 3 December 2018.

Key

Member Content
  • Find out how well Hoover vacuum cleaners score for reliability, and how Hoover fares against rival vacuum cleaner brands such as Dyson and Miele.
  • Discover whether any Hoover vacuum cleaners have impressed enough to be rated as Best Buys - or have been judged poor enough to be Don't Buys.
  • Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings and verdicts. If you're not yet a member, Join Which? to get instant access.
Miele vacuum cleaners rated
Number tested 16
Number of Best Buys
Average test score
Brand reliability rating
Customer score (%)
Typical spend
Table notes Average test score based on results of models tested under the latest test programme and available to buy as of November 2018. The customer score and brand reliability rating are based on a Which? member survey of 1,259 Miele vacuum cleaner owners conducted in September 2018. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend, and reliability is based on members’ experience of that brand. Table last updated 3 December 2018

Key

Member Content
  • Find out how well Miele vacuum cleaners score for reliability, and how Miele fares against rival vacuum cleaner brands such as Dyson and Vax.
  • Discover whether any Miele vacuum cleaners have impressed enough to be rated as Best Buys - or have been judged poor enough to be Don't Buys.
  • Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings and verdicts. If you're not yet a member, Join Which? to get instant access.
Numatic (Henry and Hetty) vacuum cleaners overview table
Number tested 8
Number of Best Buys
Average test score
Brand reliability rating
Customer score (%)
Typical spend
Table notes Average test score based on results of models tested under the latest test programme and available to buy as of November 2018. The customer score and brand reliability rating are based on a Which? member survey of 1,259 Numatic vacuum cleaner owners conducted in September 2018. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend, and reliability is based on members’ experience of that brand. Table last updated 3 December 2018

Key

Member Content
  • Find out how well Numatic vacuum cleaners score for reliability, and how Numatic fares against rival vacuum cleaner brands such as Dyson and Vax.
  • Discover whether any Numatic vacuum cleaners have impressed enough to be rated as Best Buys - or have been judged poor enough to be Don't Buys.
  • Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings and verdicts. If you're not yet a member, Join Which? to get instant access.
Vax vacuum cleaners overview table
Number tested 14
Number of Best Buys
Average test score
Brand reliability rating
Customer score (%)
Typical spend
Table notes Average test score based on results of models tested under the latest test programme and available to buy as of November 2018. The customer score and brand reliability rating are based on a Which? member survey of 282 Vax vacuum cleaner owners conducted in September 2018. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend, and reliability is based on members’ experience of that brand. Table last updated 3 December 2018

Key

Member Content
  • Find out how well Vax vacuum cleaners score for reliability, and how Vax fares against rival vacuum cleaner brands such as Dyson and Hoover.
  • Discover whether any Vax vacuum cleaners have impressed enough to be rated as Best Buys - or have been judged poor enough to be Don't Buys.
  • Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings and verdicts. If you're not yet a member, Join Which? to get instant access.

How we calculate the best and worst vacuum cleaner brands 

Every year, we gather a wealth of information about Britain's favourite vacuum cleaner brands, through our independent testing and a survey of Which? members about the products they own. 

We crunch the numbers from our vacuum cleaner tests, where we test all the major vacuum cleaners launched each year, to see how each brand fares on average. 

We also ask members to tell us how likely they would be to recommend a brand, based on the products they own, and how reliable they are. This year nearly 10,000 Which? members told us about more than 30,000 products. We calculate a brand's reliability and its customer score based on the results of our annual survey.

Our reliability survey, combined with our testing data, mean we can give unique insight into which vacuum cleaner brands are a good bet.

This data informs which vacuum cleaners we recommend too. If a brand falls far below the category average for reliability, we won’t recommend any vacuum cleaners from that brand unless a marked improvement in reliability is shown, or the brand offers at least a five-year guarantee on the product.

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