Our review compares barrel & upright vacuums on customer satisfaction, so you can find out what other Aussies think about the compared brands before you go ahead with a purchase. Think of it as like asking hundreds of your closest mates which barrel & upright vacuums they think is best!
The winning brand is the one that receives the highest Overall satisfaction rating once all the scores from the Overall satisfaction criteria are combined and averaged.
Find more detailed information on our Most Satisfied Customer methodology.
Electrolux achieved a five star rating in all categories including overall satisfaction, performance, value for money, ease of use, features & functionality and design.
Swedish appliance brand Electrolux has been operating for over 100 years, bringing customers products like vacuums, washing machines, dishwashers and more. Electrolux makes a wide variety of rechargeable, canister, cordless, and robotic vacuum cleaners. Most canister models feature powerful motors, as well as specialised areas of expertise, such as pet hair, tough dust, and so on. Also in the range is the ‘Silent Performer’ series, which is claimed to be the quietest series in the Electrolux range.
The UltimateHome 700 canister bagless vacuum cleaner features a six-step air filtration system to help both clean your home and keep the air clean, along with a two-step emptying process to help ensure that you don’t have to get dirty yourself when you’ve finished cleaning. It also includes a 3-in-1 tool, HEPA filter and 1800W output.
Hoover received five star ratings for value for money, ease of use, features & functionality and design. It also achieved four stars for overall satisfaction and performance.
The brand that is now also a verb, Hoover makes a huge variety of bagged and bagless vacuums, plus handheld, handstick, and robot vacuums. It even makes a range of cordless upright vacuums powered by lithium-ion batteries. For the really serious vacuum cleaner enthusiasts, there is also a backpack vacuum on offer to make it look like you’re operating a jetpack.
If you’re looking for an upright vacuum with powerful suction and that blocks allergen particles, the Hoover WindTunnel Air Steerable upright vacuum represents a good mid-range option. Its signature WindTunnel Technology creates three channels of suction to lift and remove surface debris and deeply embedded dirt, and the multi-floor cleaning function makes it easy to transition from carpet to hard floors.
Miele achieved a five star rating for features & functionality, four stars for overall satisfaction, performance, ease of use and design, and a three star rating for value for money.
Miele makes cylinder vacuum cleaners (bagged & bagless models), upright vacuums and even an array of robot vacuum cleaners. Its range comes in a variety of sizes and colours to suit most domestic duties and homes. Miele is not generally known for offering gimmicky features, instead focusing on ‘tried and true’ ingenuity and German engineering, with predictably efficient results.
Miele’s Blizzard CX1 Cat & Dog bagless vacuum cleaner is specifically targeted at pet owners and offers superior cleaning thanks to Vortex technology (1100W) and maximum indoor hygiene for households with pets and allergy sufferers with a maintenance-free HEPA AirClean Lifetime filter to retain up to 99.95% of allergens and fine dust. This model also comes with a TurboBrush to reliably remove hair and fluff from carpets and couches, and a universally applicable floorhead (removing the need to chop and change cleaning accessories).
LG received four star ratings for overall satisfaction, performance, ease of use, features & functionality and design and a three star rating for value for money.
Electrolux makes a wide variety of rechargeable, canister, cordless, and robotic vacuum cleaners. Most canister models feature powerful motors, as well as specialised areas of expertise, such as pet hair, tough dust, and so on. Also in the range is the ‘Silent Performer’ series, which is claimed to be the quietest series in the Electrolux range.
The brand’s Pure D9 canister vacuum has a FlowMotion system, easy-roll wheels, a patented nozzle, and PureFlow Technology to make cleaning your home as effortless as possible. The Pure D9 is made with 70% recycled plastic and has an energy-efficient motor. This model retails for $499 RRP*.
Dyson received four star ratings for overall satisfaction, performance, ease of use, features & functionality and design, and a three star rating for value for money.
A vacuum cleaner specialist, Dyson makes a wide range of barrel, upright, handstick and handheld models. Often, categories are further differentiated by what an individual vacuum is said to specialise in, such as Dyson vacuums for allergies and pet hair. Its barrel vacuums also boast a ‘no-tip’ feature, by using a clever rolling ball instead of wheels.
Its barrel vacuum range focuses on the Big Ball range, with the entry level model featuring a 360-degree articulation wand to get into those tricky spaces, quick-release tools, a self-righting function for when it falls over, along with multiple tools and cleaning heads to help get the job done.
Bissell received a five star rating for features & functionality, four star ratings for overall satisfaction, performance, value for money and design and a three star rating for ease of use.
Whatever your cleaning needs are, Bissell has a vacuum cleaner for you. Its range extends to about 18 models at the time of writing, including canister models, stick vacs, handheld units, robot vacuums, and steam and hard floor mops. It may not offer the range as some other brands, but its upright vacuum cleaners are arguably some of the most affordable, and suitable for households with pets, with its Pet Hair Eraser vacuum featuring a tangle-free brush roll to help pick up loose hairs.
Shark received five star ratings for design and features & functionality, and four stars for overall satisfaction, performance, value for money and ease of use.
Shark offers a wide selection of barrel, upright, and stick vacuums, as well as handheld models of vacuum and steam mops. Many models of vacuum include a self-cleaning brush roll, larger capacity barrels to collect more dust and dirt and powerful suction on multiple surfaces.
If you’re looking for a cheaper vacuum that doesn’t compromise on power or performance, the Shark Lift-Away upright vacuum (NV602) has you and your all floors covered. It features Lift-Away Technology that allows you to configure the vacuum into either an upright model for hard floors and carpets, or into a lightweight portable vacuum to clean stairs, sofas, and ceilings. It also boasts a Complete Seal anti-allergen filter that eliminates up to 99.9% of dust and allergens. Other specs include LED headlights, floor modes for carpets and hard floors, and swivel steering.
Vax received four star ratings across all categories including overall satisfaction, performance, value for money, ease of use, features & functionality and design.
Vax is a specialist in vacuum cleaners and floor care. It makes a fairly concise range of upright, cordless, barrel, and handheld vacuums. Many upright models are also cordless, affording you the ability to go wherever the mess and pet hair lead you. Many of Vax’s barrel vacuum cleaners feature big wheels, making them hard to tip over, and some also feature extra accessories to help eliminate pet hair.
The Vax Power 6 barrel vacuum cleaner is designed with ‘multi-cyclonic’ technology, stated to separate and trap debris in the dust chamber for reliable suction. This model has a generous 3L capacity, so you can clean multiple rooms without having to stop to empty, and a HEPA Media filter to remove airborne dust particles, allergens, and pollen.
Kogan had an even three star rating across the board for all categories including overall satisfaction, performance, value for money, ease of use, features & functionality and design.
Kogan provides plenty of options in the vacuum department, from bagless upright models to cordless stick designs, wet and dry units, and robot vacuums. The Kogan 900W upright vacuum is the ideal cleaning companion for households on a budget. It features cyclone filtration, 180° swivel steering, a 3-in-1 brush accessory for nooks and crannies and upholstery, an extendable hose, a generous cable length (six metres), and a 3L dustbin capacity.
Kmart’s brand Anko received a four star rating for value for money and three stars for all other categories such as overall satisfaction, performance, ease of use, features & functionality and design.
The cheap and cheerful department store specialising in homewares and cheap electronics has a range of vacuums for Aussie consumers to choose from. Kmart has a fairly large range of budget-oriented vacuums, with upright, handheld, bagless barrel, and bagged cylinder models currently on offer. From some models you can expect all the basic functionality like multi-cyclonic suction, a sturdy floor head with a metal base, a clip-on lid for easy cleaning and reassembly, auto cord retraction, and a thermal cut-off switch for added safety.
The first thing to consider when buying a vacuum cleaner is the size of your home as this will naturally inform the vacuum size (as well as weight & capacity) you need. If you live in an apartment with limited storage space, upright or stick vacuums are ideal, as they have a smaller footprint meaning they can be stored in smaller cupboards and easily moved around, but still have enough runtime to see you through a full cleaning cycle. Before you buy any cordless vacuum, make sure to check the runtime to ensure your stick vac will stay powered up for as long as you need it to.
The next consideration when in the market for a new vacuum cleaner is what type of unit you need. This decision will be informed largely by the types of floors in your home, what kind of capacity you need and whether you prefer a corded or cordless unit. Here’s a rundown of different types of vacuum cleaners.
Barrel vacuums, sometimes called cylinder or canister vacuums, are typically corded and have a dust tank capacity of between 3L and 5L. These types of vacuums are best suited to larger households who don’t want to empty the vacuum after every clean, although they do require pulling the wheeled canister around doorways and furniture, where it can sometimes get stuck. Barrel vacuums work on all floors types and come with various attachments for corners and ceilings.
Upright vacuums feature a broom-like handle with a vacuum bag and have the same cordless configuration as stick vacs, but with a slightly larger bin capacity (1.9L-2.2L) and motor. These types of vacuums offer the best of both worlds (more power in a compact cordless unit) and are ideal for households looking for something a bit bigger to avoid having to empty the dustbin every 30 minutes and for vacuuming pet hair. Upright vacs are suitable for both hard floors and carpets. They can also be used to clean upholstery.
Something else to consider is whether you’d like a corded or cordless vacuum cleaner. This comes down mainly to your individual cleaning needs and the size of your home. Corded vacuums are plugged into power points and therefore have much stronger suction power − that’s what you need if you’ve got large carpeted areas, kids, or pets (or all of the above). Corded vacuums are also better at keeping dust contained inside the unit and don’t need to be emptied as often (ideal for allergy sufferers). The downside is that they can be quite bulky and harder to maneuver around.
On the other hand, cordless vacuums are battery-powered and therefore have limited suction power and runtime, but they do offer the benefit of complete cord-free cleaning − great for apartments, and to vacuum tight spaces, stairs, corners, and so on. It’s all give and take!
Corded vacuums: tend to provide a deeper clean and are best for allergy sufferers and larger homes with lots of carpets, pets, and kids.
Cordless vacuums: are good for households short on storage space as they’re fairly unobtrusive and convert into a handheld vacuum for quick spot cleans. If you want a powerful stick vacuum, go for one with a high voltage lithium battery and innovative motor technology.
Barrel vacuums cost from $150 to upwards of $1,000 for brands like Dyson. Cheaper models will have less suction power so may not suit a household that needs to vacuum often, and may have fewer accessories and attachments. Upright vacuums range in price from $200 to around $700, and start at a higher price point due to their maneuverability compared to barrel models that need to be dragged along the floor. Upright vacuums that are cordless will generally cost a bit more because there isn’t a cord to tackle and move around whilst you vacuum.
This report was written by Canstar Blue’s Home & Lifestyle Content Producer Kate King. Kate holds a Bachelor of Creative Industries from QUT majoring in Journalism and Media and Communications, and has written for a number of publications over the past five years.
Samantha Howse is Canstar Blue’s Consumer Research Specialist, coordinating the consumer research program behind our customer satisfaction awards across Canstar and Canstar Blue in Australia and New Zealand. Sam has earned a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) from Griffith University and, with seven years in market research and 2 years in marketing, she is experienced in survey design, implementation and analysis, coupled with an understanding of marketing principles and best practice.
Here are the past winners of Canstar Blue’s vacuum cleaner ratings:
Appliances - October 2nd
Backpack vacuum cleaners provide maximum versatility for commercial cleaning, and can be just as useful in the home. This style of vacuum is designed to make it easy to clean, having no barrel to drag …– Read more
Appliances - July 13th
If you’ve ever had a mixture of water and dry mess to clean up, you’ll know the pain of having to wipe up one and vacuum up the rest. But there’s a simple appliance to …– Read more
See our Ratings Methodology.
*Product availability and price range are current as of the stated date, may be subject to change.
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