The best vacuum cleaners ensure achieving dust-free floors is as effortless as possible. Whether your home has hard floors, carpets, or a combination of the two, the powerful suction, large capacity dust canisters, and versatility of the best vacuums means you’ll be able to clean every floor in your home as quickly and efficiently as possible.
There’s much to consider when selecting the best hoover – the colloquial term for these floorcare devices coined because Hoover was one of the first brands to produce vacuum cleaners. However, deciding on the right type of vacuum for you is key.
There’s a wide array of different types of vacuum cleaner on the market today. Many of the best cordless vacuums available today can match their wired counterparts when it comes to suction power. Often referred to as stick vacuums, they are powered by long-lasting rechargeable batteries.
Many can also be converted into handheld cleaners, too, which is ideal if you don’t have the room for both a handheld vacuum and a traditional floor cleaner.
Meanwhile, the best robot vacuums let you outsource the chore of vacuuming completely, so you can put your feet up for a well-earned rest. If you have furry friends, you’ll find the best vacuum cleaners for pet hair come bundled with a plethora of tools and attachments designed to suck up animal and human hair easily, too.
If you’re going to all this effort to source one of the best vacuum cleaners, then it’s worth learning how to vacuum properly and how to clean a vacuum to ensure your floor cleaner lasts for as long as possible.
There’s a large range of brands producing vacuum cleaners; from stalwarts such as Dyson, Miele, and Vax, to newer names including Shark and Roidmi. We’ve put a plethora of models to the test, assessing just how well they collect fine dust and larger debris, to help you choose the best vacuum cleaner for 2021.
- Check out our new interactive cordless vacuums video below
Best vacuum cleaners 2021: ranked
Dyson’s latest cordless vacuum cleaner really is its most impressive yet. It’s more powerful and cleans even better on all surfaces, yet still lasts up to 60 minutes between charges – the same battery life offered by its predecessor, the Dyson V11, which has the same price tag.
However, the vacuum really stands out thanks to a built-in laser that shines a light (a green one in fact) on microscopic dust that’s not visible to the human eye on hard floors. It also comes with an LCD screen that displays the remaining runtime, and when used on Auto mode conserves the battery by adjusting the suction power to suit the floor type and the amount of dust automatically.
The V15 Detect Absolute is noisy when used on full power, has an average-sized dust canister, and is certainly pricey, but we think it’s worth the money if you want the best vacuum cleaner available today.
Read our full review: Dyson V15 Detect Absolute
The Roidmi R10 doesn’t pack the suction punch of our top dust busters, but it comes in at fraction of the price of those, making it our pick for the best affordable vacuum cleaner.
We were impressed with its dust pick-up on hard floors, but it struggled to deep clean carpet. Similarly, its 40-minute runtime is no match for the Dyson V15 Detect. However, the R10 excels noise-wise too, as even though its decibel levels are similar to other cordless vacuums, its softer tone feels less intrusive, and you can chat while cleaning without having to shout.
Previously called the Roidmi S1E, it’s lightweight, and easy to use in both stick cleaner or handheld mode. It also comes with a good selection of tools, including a motorized mattress brush to make upholstery cleaning easy, making it a great everyday floorcare option for those on a budget.
Read our full review: Roidmi R10 cordless vacuum cleaner
The first cordless vacuum from floor cleaning stalwart Miele is the best vacuum cleaner for pet hair you can buy right now on the market right now. It matches Dyson when it comes to suction power, and a hefty price tag, but it has the addition of the pet-hair tool and a floor cleaner head with LED lights.
We were impressed that the main unit can be moved closer to the cleaner head converting it into a cordless upright cleaner. This makes the vacuum cleaner easier to maneuver and means it can be left free-standing. It can also be converted into a handheld mode, however, we found it heavy to use in this mode.
The battery lasts up to 60 minutes between charges and is swappable to reduce the interruptions to your cleaning session.
Read our full review: Miele Triflex HX1 Cat & Dog
Released just days after the V15 Detect Absolute (above) the Omni-glide is the best we’ve tested when it comes to cleaning hard floors.
Its main cleaning head has not one, but two soft brush bars, so they can clean your hard floors faster than other vacuums, without damaging them. Four 360-degree castors can also be found on the bottom of the cleaning head, which in conjunction with the articulating neck, ensure the vacuum can be steered in any direction. It can even lie flat on the floor so it can be easily maneuvered under low-lying furniture.
It impressed us with its powerful suction, and while the 20-minute runtime is measly compared to other vacuums, the fact the battery is swappable did appease us a little. However we found the vacuum cumbersome to use in handheld mode.
The Omni-glide is one of the most affordable vacuums Dyson offer, but it’s still pricey compared to the rest of the market, especially when you consider it can’t be used on carpet.
Read our full review: Dyson Omni-glide
If you’ve got a bigger home, a larger dust canister is a necessity if you want to ensure your floor cleaning session isn’t interrupted, and thankfully the Dyson V11 outsize offers just this. At 1.9-liters it can hold 150% more debris than the Dyson V15 Detect Absolute (above), and the wider-than-usual cleaning head, means you’ll be able to vacuum your floors quicker than ever too.
On test, it offered powerful suction that whipped away discarded biscuit crumbs, ground-in dirt, and even cereal and cat biscuits, almost instantly. However, we found the larger size made the vacuum cumbersome to use in handheld mode.
It’s also the most expensive vacuum we’ve tested, putting it out of reach of some.
Read our full review: Dyson V11 Outsize
The Lupe Pure Cordless, which is the first cordless vacuum from a firm founded by two former Dyson engineers, is ideal for those that want a hose attachment for their vacuum.
The modular design means it can either be used as an upright cordless vacuum or as the main body detaches from the main tube and floor head assembly, as a lightweight, portable vacuum for cleaning stairs or up high. Although, we did find you’ll need two hands to use it in portable mode.
It’s a powerful vacuum – on test it sucked up fine dust, biscuit crumbs, and cereal with ease while the swappable battery ensured we didn’t suffer with interruptions to our cleaning sessions.
However, it’s heavy and bulky and certainly not the most stylish vacuum on the market.
Read our full review: Lupe Pure Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
If you prefer to outsource you floor cleaning completely, this really is the best robot vacuum cleaner you can buy right now.
On test, the S9+ made light work of collecting everything from fine dust and biscuit crumbs to cereal on hard floors, although it’s pick-up on carpets wasn’t quite as thorough.t is self-emptying and also has five angled arms on its brush to really get into corners and along walls.
However, as the robot vacuum deposits its debris into replaceable dust bags, there is an on-going cost with this robovac. That’s on-top of its eye-wateringly expensive price tag – it’s the most expensive robot vacuum we’ve tested to date.
Read our full review: iRobot Roomba S9+
If you’re looking for a compact vacuum that you can grab quickly to clean up the odd spillage straight away, the Shark WandVac is the best stick vacuum for the job.
Relatively lightweight and simplistic, the Shark WandVac can be used as a stick vacuum or in handheld mode. We found it extremely easy to empty, too – although with a smaller than usual dust canister, you’ll find yourself having to do this often.
The vacuum cleaner performed better at sucking up fine dust, as with large debris it did take a few sweeps back and forth to scoop up all of the mess. The Shark WandVac is loud in use and the runtime is around a quarter of that offered by rival cordless cleaners.
Read our full review: Shark WandVac
How we test vacuum cleaners
To find the best vacuum cleaner, we’ve assessed how well each model collects everything from fine dust and dirt to larger debris such as cookie crumbs and cereal. As well as evaluating how well floors are cleaned, we’ve also compared how easy the vacuum cleaners are to maneuver on carpet and hard floors, as well as whether fust pick up is evenly distributed across the cleaning head, or concentrated in one area. .
We rated each design on how durable it is, as well as simplicity of emptying, how loud it is during use and how long the battery lasts – if it has one. For each model we wanted to know whether it was easy to convert into other modes; such as a handheld vac, the useful tools and accessories it came with to clean edges or remove pet hair, and that it didn’t require reading a thick instruction manual before use.
What to consider when buying a vacuum cleaner
As we’ve mentioned already, knowing which type of vacuum to choose can end up leaving you confused. However, considering the type of property you have will help you decide.
These days, cordless vacuums are some of the most powerful vacuums when it comes to suction and they ensure you’re not restricted by the length of the wire. However they can also be some of the most expensive too. Check how long the battery will last between charges, and whether the battery is swappable, so you can simply replace it and carry on vacuuming, rather than the floor cleaner being out of action completely while it recharges.
Corded vacuums are often more affordable than cordless models, and many have wider floor headers, which can ensure vacuuming is a much quicker task. Although if you have nooks and crannies the vacuum may not be able to reach them. For those with stairs, consider models with extra-long hoses so you can clean the stairs without moving the vacuum.
Robot vacuums are good for regular cleans, however with suction that can’t match the best cordless vacuums they’re not suitable for a deep clean, and struggle to suck up dust embedded in carpets.
If you have hard floors, look for a vacuum cleaner that comes with a dedicated cleaner head, which has a softer brush roll to ensure the flooring isn’t damaged when vacuuming.
Whichever style you select, consider whether the dust canister is large enough to clean all of the floors in your home, without needing to stop and be emptied half way through.
How often should you vacuum?
“When the floor looks dirty” I hear you cry, but to keep your home allergen-free and your floors as clean as possible, you’ll need to vacuum more regularly than this.
We recommend vacuuming most floors once a week while increasing this to twice a week in high-traffic areas such as hallways and doorways. Especially, if you have carpet, as the longer dust is left, the more it becomes embedded in the fibres making it hard to thoroughly clean.
While this may seem like a lot, vacuuming this regularly will ensure there is less dust to suck up each time, making cleaning your floors a quicker process.
For more on this, head to our full feature on how often should you vacuum?