Best vacuum cleaners in 2024 UK – 9 tried and tested top-rated vacuums

Find the best vacuum cleaner for your home with our top 9 picks in 2024 from Shark, Dyson, and more

Dyson Gen5detect cordless vacuum on Ideal Home white and light blue background
(Image credit: Future/Shark/Dyson)

To keep your floors free of dust and debris, the best vacuum cleaners are here to help. Choosing the right vacuum for the job will not only leave your floors looking spotless but will also save you a lot of time and effort. However, with vacuums of all different shapes, sizes, and price tags available on the market, it can be daunting to decide what kind of vacuum is best suited for you.

Therefore, to help you decide on the best vacuum cleaner for your home, we've put dozens of models through their paces – those which offer the most power, best suction, and ease of use to take the load off those longer cleaning sessions.

There are quite a few considerations that we've packed into this guide to make your life easier. For homes with several floors or a lot of pet hair to pick up, we've got top-rated corded vacuums as well as the best cordless vacuum cleaners for those in flats or smaller homes. Rest assured, every model you can browse below has been tested extensively by a member of the Ideal Home team either at our test facility or at home.

Everything you need to know about purchasing the best vacuum cleaner for your needs has been outlined in this handy guide, with premium and budget-friendly brands sitting side by side to suit a wide range of price points.

Keep reading to find out which vacuums we rated as worthy of a place in your home.

Quick list

Best vacuum cleaner 2024

Why you can trust Ideal Home Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Best vacuum cleaner overall

Dyson vacuum cleanerIdeal Home approved 5 star badge

(Image credit: Dyson)

1. Dyson Gen5detect Absolute

The best vacuum money can buy

Specifications

RRP: £849.99
Cordless: Yes
Dust tank capacity : 0.77 litres
Weight : 3.5kg

Reasons to buy

+
The Fluffy Optic cleaner head finds hidden dust
+
The run time is impressive (up to 70 minutes)
+
The finish is sleek and premium
+
Floorhead for carpets is a gamechanger
+
Hair screw attachment will improve hygiene in your home

Reasons to avoid

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Really expensive – even for a Dyson 
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You'll have to empty the dust tank a lot

Dyson has done it again with the Gen5detect™ Absolute, creating a vacuum that's as good at cleaning up as it looks. With two floorheads (one for carpet, one for hard floor) you feel like you have more options for deep cleaning with this vacuum. The catch? The price is astronomical, which makes it hard to recommend for everyone.

With this Dyson, you're shelling out for innovation, with the hard floor head boasting lasers that illuminate dirt and dust that you'd never usually see – a cleaning enthusiast's dream. The anti-tangle feature on the Digital MotorbarTM (the head for carpet cleaning) works as well as offerings from Shark and revealed a huge amount of sunken-in dirt during our at-home tests. The three modes are perfect for toggling between everyday and deep cleaning too.

Features we loved during testing

It really is the fine details that make a vacuum better to use, which is why you can't overlook the magic of a Dyson bin mechanism. Point the dust bin, pull the trigger and everything will come out the first time without a fuss - something that pretty much no other vacuum brand has achieved.

The LCD control panel is very good to use too - with indicators showing exactly how many microscopic dust particles you've eradicated from your home. Is it necessary to have scientific proof of how clean your house is? No, but it adds to the experience that you're paying almost £900 for. This is truly a star buy, but we wish that we could have more of the Dyson sparkle on a smaller budget.

Our Dyson Gen5detect vacuum cleaner review has the full details.

Best cordless vacuum cleaner

Shark stratos cordless vacuum cleanerIdeal Home approved 5 star badge

(Image credit: SharkNinja)
The best cordless vacuum cleaner

Specifications

RRP: £429.99
Cordless: Yes
Dust bin capacity: 0.8 litres
Weight : 4.07kg

Reasons to buy

+
Hair and debris pick up is spot on
+
CleanSense IQ makes cleaning more streamlined
+
2 battery packs means you'll never run out of time

Reasons to avoid

-
Lacks a stand/place for tools
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New dust tool is fairly useless

This particular cordless Stratos showed unbelievable suction power during testing, and left carpets visibly cleaner, with no issues with pet hair or human hair. With easy-to-clean mechanisms, you can also wave goodbye to the days of laborious appliance maintenance. The ease with which this vacuum does away with hair is astounding, making it particularly great for households with pets (and without, of course) and our Kitchen Appliances Editor Molly found that it was unmatched when it came to suction.

Features we loved during testing

The capacity of this vacuum to transform into a smaller handheld model is phenomenal, and you'll be reaching for the smaller attachments all the time to resolve smaller messes all over your home quickly. One standout feature that we are obsessed with is the anti-odour capsules that slot right into the dustbin to help banish those musty smells when you're emptying your vacuum – which you can imagine is a huge plus that we wish more vacuums offered.

Our Shark Stratos IZ420UKT cordless vacuum review has the full details.

Best upright vacuum cleaner

Image of Shark ICZ300UT Cordless Upright Vacuumproduct badge

(Image credit: Shark)
The best upright vacuum cleaner

Specifications

RRP: £329.99
Cordless: Yes
Dust tank capacity: 0.6 litres
Weight: 6.2kg

Reasons to buy

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Excellent on pet hair
+
Lift-away is great for stairs
+
Easily toggles between hard floors and carpet
+
LED display
+
Very powerful
+
Steers without hassle

Reasons to avoid

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Battery life is good, but not as good as Shark claims

The Shark ICZ300UKT Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Upright Vacuum Cleaner is one of the best Shark vacuums on the market and our absolute favourite upright vacuum overall. It performed consistently across carpet, parquet, hardwood and tiles, and PowerFins lifted a huge amount of deep-rooted pet hair from around the dog's bed in our tester's home, leaving a brand-new carpet look.

It made the vacuuming process straightforward, requiring only one pass on all floor types, although we did find that it ran out of battery on the normal cleaning mode after 31 minutes.

Features we loved during testing

Powered LiftAway means you can transform this cordless vacuum by lifting it away from the stick to carry the canister upstairs 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 LCD screen also 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.

Our Shark ICZ300UKT Anti Hair Wrap vacuum review has the full details.

Best affordable vacuum cleaner

NUMATIC Henry PET vacuum cleanerproduct badge

(Image credit: HENRY NUMATIC)
The best budget vacuum cleaner

Specifications

RRP: £179.00
Cordless: No
Dust tank capacity: 9 litres
Weight: 8.5kg

Reasons to buy

+
Impressive suction
+
Generous capacity
+
Good reach (hose & cable)

Reasons to avoid

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Bulky to store
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Corded may not be your thing
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You'll need to buy bags

Henry (which we reviewed in our Henry Classic review) and 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 in our at-home tests. 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.

Features we loved during testing

The build is simple, solid and bombproof: the cord winds up manually, the top clips on solidly, and 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, and then cleaned with the activated charcoal filter for good measure. Harry comes with three other tools: a crevice tool, a soft dusting brush and an upholstery nozzle with a 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 HairBrush 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 Henry Pet200 cylinder vacuum review has the full details.

Best vacuum cleaner for pet hair

Miele Complete C3 Cat & Dog vacuumproduct badge

(Image credit: Miele)
The best vacuum for pet hair

Specifications

RRP: £389.00
Cordless : No
Dust tank capacity: 4.5 litres
Weight: 3.4kg

Reasons to buy

+
Ideal for homes with pets
+
Great range of vacuum accessories included
+
Impressive suction power
+
Renowned high-quality brand
+
Works on carpets, rugs and hard floors

Reasons to avoid

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Needs to be plugged in
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Harder to use on stairs
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Requires dust bags

The Miele Complete C3 Cat & Dog vacuum lives up to its name, with 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 most definitely one of the best vacuums for pet hair on the market, which is how it earned its place in this list.

The tube is long but telescopic, making this a good cleaner for tall and short people alike. We loved it for its 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, though it's not the easiest to clean this section of the house with.

Features we loved during testing

It's the little things that make this vacuum great, alongside the pet-appropriate level of power and suction. The ability to operate the vacuum by using your foot makes manoeuvring easier, and switching between modes is seamless too. It has wonderful consistent power and the hose is extra long, with 8.5 metres of freedom to get around your house. The canister was easy and fairly dust-free to empty too.

Our Miele Complete C3 Cat & Dog vacuum cleaner review has the full details.

Best corded vacuum cleaner

Sebo Vacuum Cleaner in whiteproduct badge

(Image credit: Sebo)

6. SEBO Automatic X7 Excel ePower Upright Vacuum Cleaner

The best corded vacuum cleaner

Specifications

RRP: £409.99
Cordless: No
Dust tank capacity: 5.3 litres
Weight: 7.4kg

Reasons to buy

+
High power and long cord
+
Pick up is phenomenal 
+
You can store tools on board 

Reasons to avoid

-
A hefty option
-
Pretty pricey 

We get it – if you live in a large home you need something a bit more heavy-duty, which is where an upright vacuum like the SEBO Automatic X7 Excel ePower Upright Vacuum Cleaner shines. Granted, this vacuum is big (it's got a 31cm cleaning head and a 10-metre cord), but that makes it the kind of powerhouse you need for a large space.

This Sebo model wasn't the easiest vacuum to manoeuvre on testing day, but it wasn't too troublesome, and the results were very impressive. It's difficult to see what the pickup is like (as the floorhead is so huge), but our testing team all felt like the Sebo had achieved the cleanest floor afterwards. You can store the vacuum's attachments on the body of the appliance too, including the crevice and upholstery tools. And taking care of your stairs is a breeze with the stair cleaning hose on this one.

Features we loved during testing

This vacuum was a reliable hard worker in all of our tests. There was no doubt that it could handle hair, cereal, oats, and flour, even in a huge capacity. This is a bagged model, which might not be for everyone, but if you're allergy-prone or you hate lengthy maintenance with cleaning out a dust bin, it might just be the thing for you.

Even though this is a corded vacuum, that doesn't mean it's lacking clever features either. During testing, we saw the evidence of the floorhead adjusting to make sure that it was always at the right height for cleaning, regardless of the floor surface. This vacuum will also shut down if it senses a blockage, giving you time to sort out the hazard before it wreaks havoc on the internal systems. For big jobs, we're sure you'll always be able to depend on the SEBO Automatic X7 Excel ePower Upright Vacuum Cleaner.

Best vacuum cleaner for carpet

VAX Blade 5 vacuum cleaner in cutout imageproduct badge

(Image credit: VAX)

7. Vax ONEPWR Blade 5 Dual Pet & Car

The best vacuum cleaner for carpet

Specifications

RRP: £449.99
Cordless: Yes
Dust tank capacity: 0.7 litres
Weight: 3.85kg

Reasons to buy

+
An amazing value cordless vacuum
+
Easy to reach underneath sofas and furniture
+
Great battery life
+
Excellent on all surface types 

Reasons to avoid

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Not all tools come included

We love VAX vacuums at Ideal Home because they consistently deliver excellent value. We've replaced the Blade 4 in this list with the Blade 5 after testing them side by side at our testing facility. Don't get us wrong, we still love the Blade 4 for its affordability and suction power, but we consider the Blade 5 a huge upgrade. The suction power of the Vax Blade 5 on our testing day was only beaten by the Dyson option (there were no Sharks present), and it did a truly remarkable job of picking up pet hair.

As with the Blade 4, the Blade 5 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. The larger floorhead also makes cleaning much quicker than with the Blade 4, and all of the tests we threw at this vacuum were dealt with quickly and efficiently.

Features we loved during testing

The battery life on the Vax Blade 5 gave us absolutely no trouble, and we completed all of the tasks we needed that day without having to return for a second charge. Even better, with the Vax Blade 5 you get access to two batteries, which means you should get up to 90 minutes of charge, and you'll never be without your sturdy Vax vac when you need it.

The Blade 5 is admittedly a little heavier than its predecessor, but it is brimming with great accessories and comes with a wall mount too, so that storage is straightforward. This vacuum particularly shone in our pick-up tests, which included tackling large debris such as Cheerios and clumps of hair. Both the Vax Blade 4 and the 5 get the seal of approval from us – stick with the former if you're on a tight budget, and enjoy the features that come with the upgrade if you can stretch to the ££ of the latter.