The best vacuum cleaner for suction –after putting dozens through their paces, this was hands-down the best

Say goodbye to stubborn pet hair in carpets

Miele C3 Cat & Dog vacuum
(Image credit: Miele)

Some messes are harder to clear up than others, which is why the best vacuum cleaner for suction is so important. At Ideal Home, our thorough testing process means our reviewers get their hands on each and every product and put them through their paces before we even consider recommending them.

From the best cordless vacuum cleaners to the best handheld vacuum cleaners, we’ve tested them all. And we’ve made it our mission to find the best vacuum cleaners on the market for each and every cleaning problem that needs solving.

That’s why we can say with good authority that the best vacuum cleaner for suction has to be the Miele Complete 3 Cat & Dog Vacuum Cleaner. Perfect for pet owners, this appliance has been specifically designed to eradicate every pesky hair from your home.

When we tested this product, our reviewer found the impressive suction power to work wonders on stubborn stray hairs - and that’s before we mention the excellent array of accessories.  

This is the best vacuum cleaner for suction you can buy

Red miele vacuum cleaner cut out

(Image credit: Amazon)

Miele Complete C3 Cat & Dog Vacuum Cleaner

With impressive suction, this vacuum cleaner is perfect for pet owners


Type: Cylinder, bagged, corded
Bin volume: 4.5 litres
Weight: 3.4kg
Dimensions: 21 x 26 x 111 cm
Power: 890W
Cable length: 8.5 metres
Modes: normal, turbo
RRP: £389

Reasons to buy

Great range of accessories for pet hair
Excellent suction power
Impressive on all floor types
Renowned high-quality brand

Reasons to avoid

Not as convenient as cordless
Not the easiest to use on stairs

We love the Miele Complete 3 so much that we’ve crowned it the best vacuum cleaner for pet hair, thanks to its impressive suction power and the handy range of accessories that are included (such as the crevice and upholstery nozzles). And for an RRP of £389, we think this mid-range price is actually incredibly generous, considering the suction power. 

It’s important to note that this vacuum cleaner only comes in the very bold ‘Mango Red’ colour. And while we find this classic colour very visually appealing, it might not suit every home - especially if you don’t have somewhere to stash it when you’re done. 

But if suction power is what you’re after, what does the colour matter? When our dog-owning tester used this in her home, she was incredibly impressed by the power of this vacuum cleaner. She found that the ‘Universal’ brush worked well to pick up pet hairs and dirt on both hard flooring and carpet and that the ‘Turbo’ brush was perfect for picking up leftover crumbs that her toddler had left behind.

Testing the Miele Complete C3 Cat & Dog vacuum cleaner

(Image credit: Future)

Not only that, but this vacuum cleaner also has the benefit of being incredibly easy to use. From the foot-operated power button to the food-operated retractable plug, everything on this vacuum cleaner can be turned on and off using just your feet, meaning there’s no bending down necessary. This is a great feature for people who want to have a quick spritz around their home without having to bend down and turn it on and off as they move around the house.

Our tester did struggle with the limited moveability due to its corded nature, and the 7.3kg appliance did prove to be a little heavy on the stairs. But, overall, she found it to be perfect for her home and the pesky pet hairs that previous vacuum cleaners had struggled to pick up.

How to choose the best vacuum cleaner for suction

With so many vacuum cleaners on the market, it’s hard to know which ones offer the best suction and which ones fall short. And while it can be easy to buy the one that’s cheapest or the one that’s more aesthetically pleasing, there are certain elements you need to consider before purchasing.

Check the motor power: In general vacuum terms, the more powerful the motor, the more powerful the suction and airflow. This means that those looking to find the best vacuum cleaner for suction should aim to buy a motor with at least 500W if they want a product that does the job properly. The Miele Complete C3 has 890W of power, which is why it's considered the best. 

Debate cordless vs. corded: There’s no doubt that cordless vacuum cleaners are more convenient. But while they have the advantage of being completely transportable, it’s generally considered that cordless vacuum cleaners struggle with suction. So, if you want the best vacuum cleaner for suction, it’s probably a better idea to go with a corded vacuum cleaner. 

Testing the Miele Complete C3 Cat & Dog vacuum cleaner

(Image credit: Future)

Research features and accessories: The best vacuum cleaner for suction should work wonders when it comes to ridding your house of hair and debris, but it’s also a good idea to look at the accessories and features that come with the appliance as standard, too. Anti-hair wrap technology is a major plus point for homes with pets, anti-odour filters can help with lingering cat and dog smells, and accessories such as crevice nozzles are ideal for cleaning hard-to-reach areas.

Understand its versatility: Many people live in houses with a variety of floor types, from laminate flooring to carpets. When buying the best vacuum cleaner for suction, you need to understand the versatility of the product - ensuring that the powerful suction is consistent across different floor types. In many cases, this is linked to the features and accessories, with many vacuum cleaners coming with different settings for different floor types.

Tips for getting the most out of the best vacuum cleaner for suction

Once you’ve found the best vacuum cleaner for suction, it’s important to keep on top of your vacuum cleaner maintenance. Failing to do so can result in a loss of suction and may see you reaching for your credit card to buy a new one. But there are ways to get the most out of your vacuum cleaner for longer. 

Empty the dust bags or box: The suction power of a vacuum cleaner can be hindered by a large amount of dust build-up in the bags or box - depending on what your specific vacuum cleaner offers. To keep its suction power as impressive as possible, make emptying the dust bags or box part of your cleaning schedule. Although experts suggest emptying them when they are ⅔ full, it’s probably easier to simply empty them after use.  

Clean the filters: If you’ve bought the best vacuum cleaner for suction because you have pets in the house, there’s a high chance that your vacuum cleaner’s filters are filled with dust, debris, hair and even your pet’s skin cells. A build-up of these things can stop them from working effectively and negatively affect the suction. So, you should clean them once a week - and, ideally, wash them once a month. 

Testing the Miele Complete C3 Cat & Dog vacuum cleaner

(Image credit: Future)

Remove hair: Although many of the best vacuum cleaners on the market come with anti-wrap technology, you may still need to remove this hair from the rotating brushes to ensure it doesn’t affect airflow or suction power. It’s important to follow the instructions of your specific vacuum cleaner when it comes to removing this hair, but in most cases, you should cut the hair away rather than pull it.

Clean the attachments: You need to clean your vacuum on a regular basis, and this includes the smaller attachments. Dirt or debris will happily stick to the sides of smaller nozzles and tubes and affect suction, which is why it’s important to wipe them clean with a cloth every so often.

How we review vacuum cleaners

We take how we test at Ideal Home very seriously. And you can rest easy knowing that the Miele Complete C3 was tested by Katie Byrne, a freelance reviewer and dog owner who knows what it’s like to struggle with pesky pet hair. During her test, she used this vacuum cleaner in her own home and tested all of the different functions available to provide an accurate and detailed review. 

Katie Byrne, freelancer
Katie Byrne

Katie Byrne is a freelance writer with a background in the homes and lifestyle sectors. Having tested everything from robot vacuums to mould removers, her experienced eye means she’s confident she can bring you fair, impartial and genuinely useful reviews of products. A busy wife and mum, she’s a fan of dogs, flat whites and crime-thriller books - if only she had the time to read them…


Which vacuum cleaner has the highest suction power?

If you want our tried and tested opinion, you can’t get better than the Miele Complete C3. This vacuum cleaner has been designed to have an impressively high suction power, as it targets stubborn pet hair specifically. 

However, when looking for the best vacuum cleaner for suction, it’s always a good idea to check out the power of the motor. While a motor of 500W will do its best to pick up every piece of dirt and debris, those who want extra suction power should aim to buy one with a motor over 500W.

What makes a vacuum suction strong?

The motor wattage of a vacuum cleaner ultimately affects the suction of the appliance. In short, the higher the wattage, the higher the suction power. And if you want to find the best vacuum cleaner for suction, it’s a good idea to try and find one that offers over 500W of power. 

However, what you might not realise is that the construction of the vacuum cleaner can also affect the suction. That’s because suction is also affected by air resistance - which is increased when you have a vacuum cleaner with a long handle and hose. In fact, it’s made even worse when these components have creases or crevices on them. 

Because of this, you’ll often find that the vacuum cleaners with the best suction are smaller than some of the bigger vacuum cleaners on the market. 

Is Shark or Dyson better?

When it comes to premium vacuum cleaner brands, Shark and Dyson have often been pipped against each other. We’ve even done the same. But when it comes down to it, it’s important to focus on your needs rather than which one is the overall winner.

For example, if you’re looking to get more bang for your buck, Shark vacuum cleaners have always been considered the cheapest of the two. However, Dyson vacuum cleaners are often celebrated for their sleek appearance and their impressive power.  

Ultimately, though, there are so many amazing vacuum cleaner brands out there that it would be unfair to single out these two brands as the best. 

Choosing the best vacuum cleaner for suction shouldn't be hard, so we hope we've made things a little easier for you.

Lauren Bradbury

Lauren Bradbury is a freelance writer and major homes enthusiast. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing from the University of Chichester in 2016, before dipping her toe into the world of content writing. After years of agency work, writing everything from real-life stories to holiday round-ups, she decided to take the plunge and become a full-time freelancer in the online magazine world. Since then, she has become a regular contributor for Real Homes and Ideal Home, and become even more obsessed with everything interior and garden related. As a result, she’s in the process of transforming her old Victorian terraced house into an eclectic and modern home that hits visitors with personality as soon as they walk through the door.