Best vacuum cleaners 2022: for squeaky clean floors

Pick up the best vacuum cleaner for your home with our top picks in 2022 from Shark, Miele, Vax, Dyson, and Sebo

Image of best vacuum cleaner from Bissell on blue graphic background
(Image credit: Future)

With the best vacuum cleaner for your home, you'll be feeling the benefits of your new appliance every time you opt for a deep clean. Below, you can find our opinion on models from huge names such as Shark, Dyson and even Henry Hoover, as well as hear about how they fared when we extensively reviewed them. 

Of course, the vacuum that's most suited to you will depend on a wide number of factors, including whether you've got pets or children to cater to, and which areas you want to tackle. Certain models will have the capability to help you clean your car or your shed too with dedicated attachments, meaning you get more value for your money. 

If you have an open plan living space or your home is spread across multiple floors, a vacuum with a large capacity that plugs in at the wall is likely to be the most convenient. For those in cities or those living in smaller homes or flats, one of the best cordless vacuum cleaners is a true gamechanger, as they can eradicate mess with no need for the fuss of unfurling or plugging in a cable. 

Each and every one of our top 10 picks have been tried and tested by the Ideal Home team to bring you our thoughts on how powerful, and easy to use they are, so get acquainted with your next vacuum below.

Best vacuum cleaners 2022

Image of Shark ICZ300UT Cordless Upright VacuumIdeal Home Approved logo badge

(Image credit: Shark)
Best vacuum cleaner overall

Specifications

Cordless: Yes
Dust tank capacity: 0.6 litres
Weight: 6.2 kg

Reasons to buy

+
Immense power
+
Great on pet hair
+
The power of a corded vacuum
+
LCD display makes switching modes easy

Reasons to avoid

-
Battery life is good, but not amazing

The Shark ICZ300UKT Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Upright Vacuum Cleaner is one of the best Shark vacuums on the market. It performed consistently across carpet, parquet, hardwood and tiles, and PowerFins lifted huge amount of deep-rooted pet hair from around the dog's bed leaving a brand-new carpet look. It made the vacuuming process straightforward, requiring only one pass on all floor types, although we found that it ran out of battery on the normal cleaning mode after 31 minutes.

Powered LiftAway means you can transform this cordless vacuum by lifting it away from the stick to carry the canister up stairs and out to car interiors. This is great for getting up the stairs, although getting the vacuum assembled once more will take getting used to. The vacuum converts into a handheld which works very well on stairs and upholstery. We really enjoyed the motorized pet tool, which was very effective at picking up pet hair and restoring carpet pile.

The LCD display allows you to switch between the carpet brush and hard floor brush with the touch of a button thanks to Shark's DuoClean, which is a real time-saver for homes with a mix of floor types.

Read our full Shark ICZ300UKT Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Upright Vacuum Cleaner review

Image of Miele Blizzard C1 vacuum cleanerIdeal Home Approved logo badge

(Image credit: Miele)

2. Miele Blizzard CX1

Best canister vacuum cleaner

Specifications

Cordless: No
Dust tank capacity: 2 litres
Weight: 8.71 kg

Reasons to buy

+
Outstanding turbo brush performance
+
Comfortable to use
+
Easy to empty the canister

Reasons to avoid

-
It's pretty pricey for a canister vacuum

Miele’s first bagless cleaner is available in multiple flavours. These range from a £249 Parquet model designed for hard floors to a £410 Comfort PowerLine with wireless controls on the handle for maximum convenience. We tested the Cat & Dog model, which sits near the top of the range and boasts a turbo brush floor head for whipping up pet (and human) hair, as well as a regular carpet floor head and another for hard floors. It is certainly one of the top pet vacuums on the market.

The tube is long but telescopic, making this a good cleaner for tall and short people alike. We loved it for straightforward cleaning power. Its suction is outstanding thanks to a powerful, fast (more than 100km/h) cyclone. The single cyclone design also makes for low noise and controllable power. The cylinder moves smoothly on its castors and perches acceptably on a stair.

The handle is comfortable in the hand and the floor head pleasantly manoeuvrable. The hose is extra-long, giving you 10m overall reach from the power socket. Tools (crevice and upholstery nozzles) are stored on board, easy to get to, and the handle has a built-in dusting brush that slides into place when you need it. We were wowed by the cleaning results from the Cat & Dog turbo brush; it left floors spotless. And the canister was easy and fairly dust-free to empty.

Cleaning pauses for a few seconds from time to time: frustrating till you realise this is because the machine cleans its own filter. There’s also a lifetime HEPA filter to catch the smallest particles. Vacuumed bacteria, allergens and mould spores remaining safely within the filter for the vacuum cleaner’s lifetime of the Blizzard CX1. As a result, this vacuum cleaner has British Allergy Foundation approval.

Image of Vax vacuumIdeal Home Approved logo badge

(Image credit: Vax)

3. Vax ONEPWR Blade 4

Best vacuum cleaner for most budgets

Specifications

Cordless: Yes
Dust tank capacity: 0.6 litres
Weight: 3.1 kg

Reasons to buy

+
An amazing value cordless vacuum
+
Easy to reach underneath sofas and furniture
+
Great battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Not all tools come included

The Vax ONEPWR Blade 4 is a winner when it comes to value. We were impressed by its performance on carpet and hardwood floors alike, and even when it came to picking up pet hair it did a sterling job. The design makes it easy to clean underneath furniture and around corners, and the floorhead rotation means there's minimal wrist work to pick up dirt and dust.

Lightweight and well-balanced, we were impressed by the battery life, which can also be increased by simply buying a backup battery for larger homes. This is also great because it means the lifespan of your vacuum isn't limited by an in-built battery. Simply dispose of the battery if you think it's dying faster than you'd like after using it for a year or so, and buy a replacement online.

Attachments include a crevice tool and dusting brush, but you can pay extra for the ProKit 2 toolkit, which is useful for smaller tasks such as upholstery and textile.

Image of Dyson Ball Animal 2Ideal Home Approved logo badge

(Image credit: Dyson)

4. Dyson Ball Animal 2

Best upright vacuum

Specifications

Cordless: No
Dust tank capacity: 1.8 litres
Weight: 1.8 kg

Reasons to buy

+
High power and long cord
+
Reaches into every corner of the room
+
Comes with a range of tools

Reasons to avoid

-
A hefty option

Owners of large homes will love the Dyson Ball Animal 2. It's got a cable length of over 10 metres and a bagless design for easy emptying. The canister has a push mechanism that makes it easy to eject dirt and dust.

In testing we liked how well the Dyson Ball Animal 2 reached even the edges of walls and the corners of a room. It is a bit hefty when compared to a cordless vacuum, but plenty powerful enough to compensate for this.

The vacuum comes with a stair tool, combination tool, carbon fibre turbine tool and on-board storage to make it easy to switch between different cleaning modes. Noise wasn't too bad given the powerful operation and the ball makes it easy to swerve around the room as needed.

Image of Beko PowercleanIdeal Home Approved logo badge

(Image credit: Beko)
Best vacuum cleaner overall

Specifications

Cordless: Yes
Dust tank capacity: 0.8 litres
Weight: 2.9 kg

Reasons to buy

+
It seriously wowed us in testing with power and attachments
+
Decent battery life
+
Easy trigger controls
+
Elbow hinge reaches under furniture easily

Reasons to avoid

-
The dustbin is a little small for some homes

The Beko Powerclean is easy to use and comes with a range of attachments that will adapt to any home. There are two brushrolls that can be switched out for hard floors and carpets, as well as a crevice tool, mini brush head and dusting attachment.

We loved how powerful this vacuum is. It has three speeds, but we found that we never needed to use the maximum strength, even on seriously dusty room and grubby carpets. The battery life is 45 minutes, which held true in testing but does get shorter depending on the strength you choose. The Beko Powerclean is intuitive to use, with a trigger control that sits right under your thumb for easy starts and finishes.

Your vacuum path is illuminated by LED lights, and the vacuum even hinges with an elbow attachment that folds down to reach underneath sofas and beds with less bending work for you. This is like Shark's Flexology function, which we're big fans of. The price is incredibly reasonable for this Dyson-rival, and we also liked the stand that came included, which made storage straightforward thanks to the on-board tool storage. Our one gripe? That 0.8 litre dustbin fills up fast.

Read our full Beko Powerclean VRT94929VI Cordless Vacuum Cleaner review

Image of Dyson Big Ball Animal 2Ideal Home Approved logo badge

(Image credit: Dyson)

6. Dyson Big Ball Animal 2

Best vacuum cleaner for pet hair

Specifications

Cordless: No
Dust tank capacity: 1.5 litres
Weight: 5 kg

Reasons to buy

+
Capable on pet hair and hardwood, with hassle-free operation
+
Very easy to empty
+
More manoeuvrable than most canisters

Reasons to avoid

-
If your home is pet-free you may get away with something less hefty

Dyson's clever take on the canister vacuum is a crowd-pleaser. Its party trick is that it sits atop a large ball, for manoeuvrability. It’s bagless and the design is colourful. Although the design is visually complex, the ball steers simply.

Its cleaning prowess was impressive. You can hear the power as you navigate hardwood and carpet. But some of Dyson’s vacuum cleaner design touches impressed. Simple things make all the difference. For example, once you’ve got the hang of it, the wand and hose pop out of the handle easily and are ready to go. Pneumatic suction automatically swaps over from the floor to the hose. The hose is stretchy, and tools easily attach to switch as you go.

Emptying was easy: press the red button at the top of the dirt canister to pop it off the cleaner body, then hold it over a bin and press it firmly to open the bottom. This is good because the button is at the top of the tall canister, so you can lower it well into a wheelie bin: you’re further away from the dust.

Image of Dyson V11 OutsizeIdeal Home Approved logo badge

(Image credit: Dyson)

7. Dyson V11 Outsize

Best vacuum cleaner for functionality

Specifications

Cordless: Yes
Dust tank capacity: 1.7 litres
Weight: 3.5 kg

Reasons to buy

+
Easy emptying mechanism
+
All three modes are very powerful
+
Two rollers for different floor types

Reasons to avoid

-
It's an expensive option

The Dyson V11 Outsize wowed us in testing, and it was only that steep price point that held it back from a five star rating. The packaging was entirely plastic-free, which was a big thumbs-up for our appliances editor, and it arrived with 20% battery already loaded up. Perfect for having a quick spin before setting it up to charge. The run time is up to 60 minutes, which is pretty impressive for a cordless vacuum.

There are three modes to choose from: Eco, Auto, and Boost, and each one results in a different noise level and suction, although all three settings held up very well in testing.

The soft roller head did a wonderful job on hardwood floors, and it comes included in the Dyson V11 Outsize. The vacuum also comes with a charging dock, and will take 4.5 hours from empty to fully charge.

Image of Henry NumaticIdeal Home Approved logo badge

(Image credit: Henry Hoover )

8. Numatic Henry PET200

Best budget vacuum cleaner

Specifications

Cordless: No
Dust tank capacity: 9 litres
Weight: 8.5 kg

Reasons to buy

+
Generous 9-litre capacity
+
Classic design that we all know and love
+
Simple but effective

Reasons to avoid

-
Pet hair turbo brush could be larger

Henry and its (his?) siblings have a reputation for being workhorses: the cleaner’s cleaner of choice, designed and made here in the UK. We put the Harry vacuum cleaner (sometimes known as the Henry Pet) through its paces. Harry boasts a large 9-litre capacity, the same as the Henry HVR200, and it has similar features. It’s a bagged cylinder vacuum cleaner with a 10m cable, giving it an overall reach of 13m from the power socket. Its floor head is straightforward, with a lever that you press to go from hard floor to carpet, or vice versa.

Build is simple, solid and bombproof: the cord winds up manually, the top clips on solidly, the wand is in two pieces but not telescopic. This vacuum cleaner feels semi-industrial. There is very little to go wrong. Harry also has extra features designed for pet owners. The HairoBrush is a small turbo brush designed to whip up pet hair. And the cleaner’s large fabric filter has a built-in MicroFresh activated charcoal layer designed to tackle pet odours.

Air is pulled through the HepaFlo bag, which captures even fine particles of dust, then cleaned with the activated charcoal filter for good measure. Harry comes with three other tools: crevice tool, soft dusting brush and upholstery nozzle with slide-on brush. If you clip them together, you can just about carry them all on board thanks to two slots on the back, next to the wheels.

But the only way to store the HairoBrush when you’re on the move is in the slot where you’d naturally dock the floorhead and wand. A second slot would have been good, so you could stow them at the same time. Also, the Harry vacuum cleaner is too big to sit on a stair. Cleaning power is impressive, however. The floor head was simple but very effective, and Harry the vacuum moved fairly well behind us.

Our only criticism with this vacuum cleaner is that, as pet-owners, we’d have preferred a full-sized turbo brush. The HairoBrush is very effective at picking up hair but it seems too small to use as a floor head.

iRobot Roomba vacuum cleanerIdeal Home Approved logo badge

(Image credit: Roomba)

9. iRobot Roomba 980

Best robot vacuum

Specifications

Cordless: Yes
Dust tank capacity: 0.6 litres
Weight: 4kg

Reasons to buy

+
The joy of a robot vacuum, with plenty of smart features
+
A good price for a robot vac

Reasons to avoid

-
Docking system can only be plugged in on one side

Our top robot vacuum pick is the iRobot ROOMBA980. It's immensely capable of picking up dirt and dust that you didn't even know was lingering in your home, and it does all that (and more) with the press of a button. You can pair this vacuum with your smartphone and let it go, or monitor its progress as it maps its way around your home.

The battery life is 120 minutes, and you can schedule cleaning for when you're out of the house so you always have a sleek space to return to.


How we test vacuum cleaners

Image of testing of Shark vacuum at home

(Image credit: Future/Molly Cleary)

At Ideal Home, we believe that in order to give our verdict on the best vacuums and in order to rank them, we need to have tested them ourselves, which we delve into in our how we test guide. That's why you'll find star ratings on the vacuums in this list, which we've decided on after extensively testing them in our own space. Every vacuum in this list has been reviewed by a member of our team, so you know that you can trust us to give you a detailed look at each model.

As well as paying close attention to how they performed at the job of vacuuming, we also make sure to evaluate practical features like how lightweight each vacuum is, the standout features of each and which appliances are good value for money. Where we can, we've also sought to keep hold of these vacuums for long-term testing, so that we can feedback on just how they deliver after years of use.

How to buy the best vacuum cleaners

A vacuum can be an expensive investment, especially if you want one that will see you through many years of service (you know what they say, buy cheap, buy twice!). Below, you'll find factors you might want to think about before you take the plunge, to ensure you're actually getting the right vac for you. 

  • Type: The classic iteration of a vacuum cleaner is corded, meaning it plugs in at the wall. If you need a larger, more powerful vacuum cleaner for a bigger space or a busy family home, then it’s likely you’ll be opting for a corded vacuum, as you won’t have to worry about losing charge. Cordless vacuum cleaners are handheld appliances that you can use to get around your house with ease. They often have charging ports that you can attach to your walls or within your cupboards, and they are often lighter and smaller, for convenience. For the ultimate handsfree experience, there are robot vacuums that can whizz around your floors collecting dust and debris.
  • Emptying: There’s a distinction to be made between bagless vacs and those which still have the traditional bag system. While bagless systems might be a little riskier with the mess, brands such as Dyson have engineered clever trigger systems so that you can aim for your bin better. Bagged systems are more expensive and arguably fussier.
  • Features: Aside from simply cleaning your floors, plenty of vacuums have extra features to make them worth your investment. That includes additional brush, crevice and pet tools, as well as attachments to help you clean your car. Other models have varying settings when it comes to power, so you can go turbo when you need to. If you or a family member struggle with allergies, a HEPA filter can help you keep allergens at bay too. 

How much should I spend on a vacuum cleaner?

Budget around £150 for a vacuum cleaner with decent cleaning power. But you can spend twice that or more that on premium models. More money can buy you more powerful cleaning and better tools for stuff like pet hair.

Which type of vacuum cleaner is right for me?

Upright vacuum cleaners are very ergonomic to push around, so they’re ideal for cleaning large floor areas in open-plan kitchens. Their powerful, rotating brushbars are great for picking up hair from pets and humans in thick living room carpets. But they are tall and bulky to store and not so good for cleaning stairs.

Cylinder vacuum cleaners are usually smaller and lighter, so they pack away better. The power cable is stored away neatly inside and hopefully there’s onboard storage for tools. But they might not have a motorised brush head and capacity may be smaller.

Caramel Quin
Caramel Quin

Caramel Quin is an award-winning journalist and professional nerd who tests technology for newspapers, magazines and online. She has written for Ideal Home since 2012. She prides herself on real-world testing and translating geek speak into plain English. Her pet hates are jargon, pointless products and over-complicated instruction manuals. 

With contributions from