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Which vacuum cleaner brand?

Most reliable vacuum cleaner brands

By Matthew Knight

Article 2 of 5

Make your next vacuum cleaner one that will last. We survey thousands of members every year to find out which vacuum cleaner brands are the most and least reliable.

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We survey thousands of vacuum cleaner owners to find out which brands are most prone to breakdowns and developing faults. 

Deteriorating suction, overheating and broken motors are some of the most of the most common faults people experience with their vacuum cleaners. But you're much less likely to fall victim to these problems if you choose a vacuum cleaner brand with a five-star reliability rating. 

Use the table below to see the reliability scores given to each brand based on how they behave in the homes of real owners. The higher the score, the more likely you are to have a fault-free experience. 

Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings in the table below. If you're not a member, join Which? to get instant access. 

Once you've discovered the best brand for you, go straight to our our in-depth vacuum cleaner reviews to find the best model.

Which vacuum cleaner brands are the most reliable?
Brand Reliability star rating Percentage reliability score

Table notes
Ratings based on a survey of 1,907 Which? members in October 2017. Reliability star rating shows how each brand's reliability score compares to other vacuum cleaner brands. Table correct as of December 2017.
Number of respondents for each brand: Numatic 84, Miele 714, Bosch 106, Dyson 574, Sebo 106, Vax 110.


Member Content

Which vacuum cleaners stay fault-free the longest?

You've told us that you expect vacuum cleaners to last nine-and-a-half years without developing a fault. Our graphic below shows which brands will stay fault-free the longest, based on real owners' experiences.

We gather data for up to six years to give you an idea of how quickly each brand tends to develop faults, as we find that there is usually a higher number of faults in the first few years for poor brands. 

How vacuum cleaner brands compare

Our data shows that you should be able to get a really good vacuum cleaner that lasts well over six years - if you choose your brand wisely.

A quarter of the least reliable brand's machines will be in landfill by the time you get to ten years, but almost all of the most reliable brand's vacuum cleaners will still be going strong.

93% of vacuum cleaners from the most reliable brand are still going strong after six years.

Our reliability scores don't just take account of how long each product lasts before developing a fault, we also factor in the severity of the fault, so an engine failure is weighted more heavily than a broken accessory. We also take account of the age of the machine when it develops a fault, so if a vacuum cleaner breaks after a year, the brand is penalised more heavily in the overall reliability score. 

Reliability scores are based on the proportion of appliances with problems per brand, and faults are weighted so more serious problems account for more of the score. A brand needs at least 30 survey responses to get a score.

Common problems with vacuum cleaners

According to our survey, the most common problems encountered with cylinder vacuum cleaners are:

  • 27% - blocked filters
  • 20% - suction has deteriorated
  • 14% - spinning brush bar stopped working

The best way to avoid these issues is to regularly maintain your vacuum cleaner. Wash and dry the filters as instructed - usually every month or so, empty the dust canister regularly or change the bag, and clear the brush bar of tangled hair and other debris.

Check the manufacturer's website for spares. You can usually buy a replacement floor tool for cylinder vacuums, or replacement filters, which could breathe new life into your vacuum.

How to fix common vacuum cleaner problems

If you're faced with some of the common vacuum cleaner problems below, we asked repairers to vote on whether they can be easily fixed at home, as well as the typical cost of getting the problem repaired, to help you decide what to do.

Broken filter

Cost of professional repair: around £38.

Repairers’ advice: the advice from repairers was split down the middle between fixing it yourself and getting it sorted professionally. A couple of those who advised the latter said that you can make the problem worse if you don’t know what you’re doing. But many of those who advised repairing it yourself said it was easy to do, and one said: ‘You can buy filters from shops like Argos, and they’re designed to be easily replaced.’ Others pointed out that instruction manuals explain how to replace the filter. 

Our advice: you should be able to unblock the filter yourself with the help of the manual. If you need a replacement filter, it typically costs between £5 and £20.

A broken drive belt caused by accidentally sucking up a curtain

Repairers’ advice: most recommended getting it repaired by a professional. Drive belts are ‘fiddly’ and involve taking the machine apart, so it’s not something that can be done easily. Repairers stressed the importance of making sure it was fixed properly so as not to cause any more problems. There were a few dissenters, though – one said that it can be easily accessed, while another said that the instruction manual is likely to give full instructions on how to fix the problem.

Cost of professional repair: around £40.

Our advice: check the instruction manual. If it’s not covered there, call a repairer.

Vacuum cleaner not working due to a damaged or faulty mains cable

Repairers’ advice: three in five repairers we spoke to advised getting it repaired professionally. One said: ‘Plain and simple, it is dangerous to carry out any electrical repair if you are not qualified,’ and others echoed this view. 

Cost of professional repair Around £47.50.

Our advice Stay safe by getting a repairer in.

Vacuum cleaner reviews you can trust

At Which? we put each vacuum cleaner through more than 70 individual tests to decide upon the best and worst. As well as testing vacuums from the brands above, we've also tested models from big brands like Shark, Vax and Hoover.  

There can be an enormous difference between the best and worst vacuum cleaners, the best vacuum we have tested on carpet picks up more than 80% of the dust, the worst less than 50%.

If you are looking for a new vacuum cleaner, make sure you check our vacuum cleaner reviews before you buy.