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Blocked filters, a complete loss of suction and faulty brushes are the most common vacuum cleaner problems according to our survey of 8,330 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 we ask thousands of people each year whether they're pleased with their vacuum cleaner, or if they've experienced problems.
We've got data on the biggest vacuum cleaner brands – AEG, Bosch, Dyson, Electrolux, Hoover, Kirby, Miele, Nunamtic, Panasonic, Samsung, Sebo, Shark and Vax – so we can tell you which brand to choose, and which ones to avoid.
The table below summarises this year’s results. Brands are ranked by their customer score, which relates to whether customers would recommend the brand.
The 'proportion faulty' is the percentage that experienced a fault and the 'proportion repaired or replaced' is the percentage of dishwashers that were fixed or thrown away due to a fault.
|Brand||Customer score||Proportion faulty in seven years||Proportion repaired or replaced due to a fault|
As the table below reveals, there is a big difference between the brands with the best customer score (84%) and the worst (60%). There are also big gaps between the average test scores, fault rate and proportion of products that had to be repaired or replaced.
|Proportion faulty in first seven years||8%||47%|
|Proportion repaired or replaced due to a fault||4%||29%|
You would be right to expect your vacuum cleaner to last for seven years. However as you can see from our table, around a third of vacuum cleaners from the faultiest brand had to be repaired or replaced within this time.
The table shows that the difference between the most and least faulty brands is very significant: the worst brand from our survey was more than seven times as likely to need to be repaired or replaced compared to our best brand.
|Proportion repaired or replaced due to a fault|
|Average for all vacuum cleaners||13%|
We've pulled together fault data, customer insight and average performance in our independent vacuum cleaner tests to give you an in-depth look at each brand.
Know which vacuum cleaner brand you want? Use the links to go straight to our reviews and find your ideal model:
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.
A complete loss of suction or noticeably deteriorated suction could be a result of reduction in motor performance, blocked airways or filters within the vacuum cleaner, or a clogged brush bar.
Blocked filters can be avoided by regularly washing your vacuum's filters. Most manufacturers advise rinsing filters in cold water once a month and allowing them to dry for up to 48 hours on a windowsill.
Washing your filters with warm water or not letting them dry could damage your vacuum's filtration system, allowing fine dust particles to escape while you clean.
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.
Which? has a wealth of information on Britain's favourite vacuum cleaner brands.
Each year, we ask Which? members and the public 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 17,000 people told us about more than 70,000 products, including 8,330 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.