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Faulty brushes, a complete loss of suction and broken motors are the most common vacuum cleaner problems according to our survey of 5,135 vacuum cleaner owners in the UK.
Knowing which brands develop the most faults and how long a model can be expected to last is vital when you're buying a new vacuum cleaner. That's why each year we ask thousands of Which? members to tell us whether they're pleased with their vacuum cleaner, or if they've experienced problems.
Our unique customer experience survey 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 the biggest vacuum cleaner brands – AEG, Bosch, Dyson, Hoover, Miele, Numatic, Sebo, Shark and Vax – so we can tell you which brand to choose, and which brands to avoid.
The table below summarises this year’s results. Brands are ranked by their customer satisfaction score, which relates to whether customers would recommend the brand to a friend.
Customer satisfaction score
Average test score
% replaced after five years
% replaced after 10 years
As the chart below reveals, there is a big difference between the brand with the highest (85%) and lowest (66%) customer satisfaction scores. There are also big gaps between average test scores, and how long vacuum cleaner brands last.
The average vacuum cleaner will last 20 years. This is based on the experiences of Which? members who told us how long they kept their previous appliance before they replaced it due to a fault.
There’s a big difference between how long the best and the worst brands last.
We've pulled together our survey data and independent test results – with some insight from our vacuum cleaner experts too – to give you an in-depth look at each brand.
Good maintenance habits – such as regularly emptying the dust container or dust bag, and removing hair and debris from the brush bar – can help you avoid the three most common vacuum cleaner faults.
According to our Which? member survey, the most common problem with vacuum cleaners is the brush not working properly, or not working at all. If the brush bar is clear of hair and debris that could otherwise clog it up, the most likely cause of this fault is a broken vacuum cleaner belt. These elastic belts are cheap to buy and relatively easy to fit yourself in most cases.
A complete loss of suction or noticeably deteriorated suction could either be as a result of a deterioration or reduction in motor performance, blocked airways or filters within the vacuum cleaner, or a clogged brush bar.
Faulty motors can be caused by blocked filters, using the vacuum cleaner at full capacity, a blown fuse, or overheating. Broken motors can be replaced but, depending on the vacuum cleaner model and whether it is still under warranty, you may be better off investing in a more reliable vacuum.
Which? has a wealth of information on Britain's favourite vacuum cleaner brands. Every year, we ask Which? members to tell us about the domestic appliances they own – from how likely they'd be to recommend a brand, to how long a product lasted once they got it home.
This year, more than 13,000 members told us about more than 40,000 products, including 5,135 vacuum cleaners.
Our survey, combined with our independent testing data, means we can give you unique insight into which vacuum cleaner brand you should buy.
Know which vacuum cleaner brand you want? Use the links to go straight to our reviews and find your ideal model: