Best-Rated Vacuum Cleaners

Canstar Blue’s 2021 vacuum cleaner review has seen a whopping 16 brands including iRobot (Roomba), Bosch, Miele, LG, Bissell and more, compared on their effectiveness of clean, ease of use, ease of emptying, ease of storage, quietness, value for money and overall satisfaction.

See our Ratings Methodology.

Best vacuum cleaners 2021

Most Satisfied Customers | iRobot (Roomba) & Bosch

iRobot (Roomba) and Bosch were joint winners in Canstar Blue’s vacuum cleaner ratings after Aussies rated both brands best for overall customer satisfaction.

Fact Checked Fact Checked

iRobot Roomba & Bosch sweep a dual win in vacuum cleaner ratings

When it comes to vacuum cleaners, it’s often the case that you get what you pay for. So, buying a cheap and cheerful vacuum might seem like a great idea at the time, but it could leave you with disappointing results. Then again, you don’t want to be paying more than you need for an appliance that – ultimately – simply sucks up dirt from the floors. The trick is finding the vacuum that ticks both the effectiveness and value for money boxes. So, which brands do Aussies rate highest in both regards? Our customer ratings have the answer.

Once again, we’ve surveyed more than 2,900 households and sought out their opinions on the vacuum cleaners they’ve purchased and used in the last three years. An emerging theme from our reviews and ratings over the years is that typically the more ‘premium’ brands are coming up trumps, but this year is a little different, with iRobot Roomba and Bosch sharing the top spot.

That’s a fantastic achievement in a competitive market where we’re even seeing the likes of Kmart and ALDI offering solid alternatives to the big name brands. But Aussies who own an iRobot Roomba or Bosch vacuum are clearly the happiest of the lot. Both brands scored five stars for overall satisfaction.

Best Vacuum Cleaners

Best vacuum cleaner

Here are the best vacuum cleaners in Australia, as rated by consumers in Canstar Blue’s latest review:

  1. iRobot (Roomba) & Bosch
  2. Miele
  3. LG
  4. Bissell
  5. Samsung
  6. Piranha
  7. Dyson
  8. Electrolux
  9. Black & Decker
  10. Philips
  11. Hoover
  12. Beko
  13. Vax
  14. Kmart
  15. Kogan

iRobot and Bosch vacuums were rated best in Canstar Blue’s latest ratings, achieving five-star reviews for overall customer satisfaction. iRobot (Roomba) also rated best for ease of use and storage, while Bosch got full marks for quietness and value for money.

Several other brands also managed to score five stars in the bang for buck category including Miele, Piranha and Black & Decker. Notably, former winner Miele was the only brand to score five-star reviews for effectiveness of clean and Samsung got the only top marks for ease of emptying.

These ratings are based on all types of vacuum cleaners – from small handheld vacuums for your car, to robot vacuums and large barrel vacuums that specialise in pet hair. We rate stick vacuum cleaners separately.

Our review provides a helpful guide as to which vacuum cleaner could be the best bet for your needs and budget. Read on for a little more detail about each brand and what you can get for your money. We’ll also name-drop some other brands that don’t feature in this year’s review but are still worth a mention.

Top Vacuum Cleaner Brands

iRobot

iRobot vacuum review

iRobot is the brand behind the ever-famous Roomba robot vacuum and mop range, boasted for its new levels of cleaning intelligence and efficiency to your home. The new Roomba s9+ is the smartest model of the Roomba family featuring automatic emptying and smart mapping technology which learns, maps and adapts to each room to give you control of which parts of the house you want to be vacuumed first. Prices for the Roomba s9+ reach up to $2,899, while prices for iRobot Roomba 600 series models start from $499.

Some models in the iRobot vacuum range include:

  • iRobot Roomba 670 Robot Vacuum (R670000): $649 (R670000) RRP*
  • iRobot Roomba e5 Robot Vacuum (e515000): $999 RRP*
  • iRobot Roomba i7 Robot Vacuum (1715000): $1,499 RRP*
  • iRobot Roomba s9+ Robot Vacuum (S955800): $2,899 RRP*

iRobot cleaned up with five stars for ease of use, ease of storage and overall satisfaction. It got four stars for effectiveness, ease of emptying, quietness and value for money.

Bosch

Bosch vacuum cleaner review

Another brand boasting a reputation for German quality, Bosch provides a range of vacuum cleaners, including cordless stick and cylinder vacuums (bagged & bagless units). Some common features you’ll find in the Bosch handstick line-up include the All Floor High Power Brush, claimed to deliver a thorough clean, plus 2-in-1 functionality to give you a handheld and handstick vacuum cleaner in one appliance.

The Bosch Athlet ProAnimal and most other Athlet stick vacuums are boasted for having one of the longest runtimes, of up to 60 minutes. Other aspects include Bosch’s SmartSensor technology, which is stated to monitor airflow rates throughout the vacuum to ensure the suction performance doesn’t drop and an LED indicator to notify you if the filters get clogged. Most Bosch vacuums can be had for less than $900, with some of its models being priced as low as $250.

Bosch’s range includes:

  • Bosch ProPower Bagged Vacuum Cleaner (BGL3PWERAU): $249 RRP*
  • Bosch Athlet Handstick Vacuum Cleaner (BCH6AT25AU): $399 RRP*
  • Bosch Serie 6 Rechargeable Stick Cordless Vacuum Cleaner (BCS61113AU): $399 RRP*
  • Bosch ProAnimal Bagless Vacuum Cleaner (BGS5ZOOOAU): $499 RRP*

Bosch received five stars for quietness, value for money and overall satisfaction. It got four stars for effectiveness, ease of emptying, ease of use and ease of storage.

Miele

Miele vacuum cleaner review

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.

The Miele CX1 Blizzard Cat & Dog Bagless Vacuum Cleaner is specifically targeted at pet owners. It features Vortex technology for powerful cleaning and a maintenance-free HEPA AirClean Lifetime filter, said to retain up to 99.95% of allergens and fine dust, according to Miele. Miele’s upright vacuum range starts from around $600 and its cylinder models start at about $350, but some cost closer to $1,000, including Miele’s robot vacuums.

Several Miele vacuum cleaners include:

  • Miele Blizzard CX1 Excellence PowerLine (SKCR3): $679 RRP*
  • Miele Complete C3 Cat & Dog PowerLine Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner (SGEA3): $779 RRP*
  • Miele Triflex HX1 Runner Cordless Stick Upright Vacuum Cleaner (SMUL5): $999 RRP*
  • Miele Triflex HX1 Pro Cordless Stick Upright Vacuum Cleaner (SMML0): $1,199 RRP*

Miele scored five stars for effectiveness of clean and value for money, plus four stars for quietness, ease of emptying and ease of use. It got three stars for ease of storage.

LG

LG vacuum cleaner review

LG specialises in stick and robot vacuums, with the range featuring different smart features, capacities and colours. LG’s range focuses on a combination of technical excellence and user-friendliness to help make cleaning easy. All units are cordless and battery-powered, giving you the freedom of movement.

The LG A9 stick vacuum comes with a dual power pack, which provides up to 40 minutes of runtime per battery. It’s boasted for its ergonomic design with a telescopic pipe able to be adjusted to four different lengths as well as its Opti-balanced handle. Its handstick range is moderately priced, from $799 to $1,299.

LG’s vacuum range features:

  • LG Powerful Cordless Handstick With AEROSCIENCE Technology (A9N-PRIME): $839 RRP*
  • LG Powerful Cordless Handstick with AEROSCIENCE Technology (A9N-MULTI): $959 RRP*
  • LG Powerful Cordless Handstick With Power Drive Mop & Kompressor Technology (A9K-ULTRA): $1,299 RRP*
  • LG Powerful Robotic Vacuum (R9MASTER): $1,799 RRP*

LG was rated four stars for effectiveness of clean, ease of use, quietness, value for money and overall satisfaction. It got three stars for ease of emptying and ease of storage.

Bissell

Bissell vacuum cleaner review

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 hardfloor mops. One of Bissell’s most expensive model, the Bissell Icon EDGE features a Multi-Cyclonic Spooling System for a supposed better suction and Hygienic Emptying System with plunger technology to effortlessly release dirt from the tank for a mess-free empty. It also comes with a motorised floor nozzle with LED lights to spot dirt even in the darkest corners.

Bissell’s range includes:

  • Bissell Powerforce Helix TURBO Rewind (2262F): $249 RRP*
  • Bissell SmartClean Canister Vacuum (2229F): $599 RRP*
  • Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Turbo Upright Vacuum Cleaner (2454F): $399 RRP*
  • Bissell SpinWave Wet/Dry Robot Vacuum (931F): $699 RRP*

Bissell received four stars for effectiveness of clean, ease of use and storage, quietness, value for money and overall satisfaction. It got three stars for ease of emptying.

Samsung

Samsung vacuum cleaner review

Samsung is best known for its smartphones, but the brand also offers a neat and tidy range of stick vacuums and robot cleaners. Its high-end stick vac range is currently made up of several ‘Jet’ models, retailing between $729 and $1,129, offering up to 200W of power suction, a quoted 60-minute runtime and various accessories, including a mopping and hardfloor tool to make vacuuming feel less of a chore. Samsung’s POWERbot is equally impressive, featuring Wi-Fi connectivity, an Edge Clean function for corners, self-cleaning brush and other nifty features worth the splurge.

Samsung’s vacuum cleaner range includes:

  • Samsung Jet 70 Pet Vacuum Cleaner (VS15T7032R1/SA): $599 RRP*
  • Samsung Jet 70 Pro Stick Vacuum (VS15T7035R5/SA): $699 RRP*
  • Samsung Jet 90 Pet Vacuum Cleaner (VS20R9042T2/SA): $999 RRP*
  • Samsung Jet 90 Complete Vacuum Cleaner (VS20R9046T3/SA): $1,099 RRP*

Samsung achieved five stars for ease of emptying, and four stars in the remaining categories, including overall satisfaction.

Piranha

Pirahna vacuum cleaner review

Piranha is a budget brand of home appliances, offering no-fuss vacuum cleaners for those looking to get a unit that just gets the job done. The brand is sold at various retailers including Big W and Kmart and online via Kogan. Piranha offers a select range of vacuums, comprising of two bagless models priced under $100. Both come with all the standard features you’d expect from an entry-level vac like a Multi-Cyclonic Filtration System, a washable filter, stainless steel telescopic tube and 2.5L+ dust bin capacity.

Piranha’s vacuum range includes these two models:

  • Piranha Glow 2000W Vacuum Cleaner (YLC6243-H): $69 RRP*
  • Piranha Royale 2400W Vacuum With Handheld Vacuum Cleaner (EV-826-S16): $99 RRP*

Piranha was rated five stars for value for money and four stars for effectiveness and overall satisfaction. It got three stars for ease of use, ease of emptying and ease of storage, plus two stars for quietness.

Dyson

Dyson vacuum cleaner review

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. For example, there are 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.

Dyson is generally seen as a premium brand, with most models costing in excess of $500, while some cost $1,000 or more! Its latest addition – the Dyson V15 Detect – is boasted for its powerful suction power and up to 60 minutes of fade-free runtime, although comes with a retail price tag of $1,399 for the Total Clean model.

Dyson’s vacuum range includes:

  • Dyson V7 Cordless Vacuum (248407-01): $399 RRP*
  • Dyson V8 Animal Vacuum (369398-01): $699 RRP*
  • Dyson Outsize Total Clean (371093-01): $1,299 RRP*
  • Dyson V15 Detect Absolute Extra (369402-01): $1,449 RRP*

Dyson scored four stars for effectiveness, ease of use, ease of emptying, ease of storage and overall satisfaction. It received three stars for quietness and value for money.

Electrolux

Electrolux vacuum cleaner review

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. In terms of its rechargeable range, the brand’s 2-in-1 stick models are designed with detachable handheld vacuums, ideal for taking care of small messes.

Its Pure Q9 stick vacuum is the latest addition, boasted to combine the performance of a traditional vacuum cleaner with versatility. It provides up to 53 minutes of vacuuming and comes with a 3-in-1 smart tool to help clean all around the home. Models start at about $150 for the handheld varieties and around $250 for the canister vacuums, while the Electrolux PUREi9 Robot vac sits with a retail price tag of about $1,700.

Electrolux’s models include:

  • Electrolux WELL Q7 Reach Stick Vacuum Cleaner (WQ71-P50IB): $349 RRP*
  • Electrolux Ergorapido Allergy 18V Handstick Vacuum Cleaner (ZB3311): $379 RRP
  • Electrolux Ergorapido Animal 18V Vacuum Cleaner (ZB3320P): $449 RRP*
  • Electrolux Pure Q9 Cordless Vacuum (PQ92-3PGF): $749 RRP*

Electrolux was rated four stars for effectiveness, ease of use, ease of emptying, value for money and overall satisfaction. It got three stars for quietness and ease of storage.

Black & Decker

Black and decker vacuum cleaner review

Black & Decker brings forth several cordless handstick vacuums alongside handheld and barrel vacuums at the cheaper end of the spectrum. There are also a number of vacuums specifically designed for pet owners, such as the Black & Decker 27Wh Lithium-ion Cordless Pet Dustbuster Hand Vacuum, which features a specifically designed motorised pet head with rubber tines.

The Black & Decker 45Wh 2-in-1 Cordless Multipower Allergy Vacuum is designed for allergy sufferers. It features a Dual HEPA filtration system claimed to trap up to 99.92% of dust particles, plus a runtime of up to 60 minutes with a charging time of six hours. It’s also equipped with a battery charge indicator and an LED light to illuminate the floor to help you see where you’ve vacuumed. Black & Decker vacuums can be had for around $100 to $400.

Black & Decker’s range includes:

  • Black & Decker Dustbuster Handheld Vacuum With Charging Base & Pet Extension: price not advertised*
  • Black & Decker Cordless POWERSERIES Extreme Vacuum Cleaner: price not advertised*
  • Black & Decker Lithium 4-in-1 Dustbuster: price not advertised*
  • Black & Decker 36Wh Cordless Stick Vacuum: price not advertised*

Black & Decker got five stars for value for money, plus four stars for effectiveness, quietness, ease of emptying and storage. It landed on three stars for ease of use and overall satisfaction.

Philips

Philips vacuum cleaner review

Philips did offer bagged and bagless vacuums as well as wet hard floor cleaners and steam mops, however, most models featured on the brand’s website seem to be discontinued.

Philips’ range includes:

  • Philips PowerPro Active Bagless Vacuum (FC8632/72): $319 RRP*

Philips was rated four stars for ease of use, effectiveness, ease of emptying, ease of storage and quietness. It got three stars for value for money and overall satisfaction.

Hoover

Hoover vacuum cleaner review

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!

The Hoover Hoover Zenith Stick Vacuum Cleaner is boasted for its digital brushless motor and motorised powered head, stated to provide an effective clean and offering up to 24 minutes of runtime. It also features LED lights, a three-stage filtration with an exhaust HEPA filter and four specialised accessories for hard-to-reach areas. Hoover prices start from about $50 for the most basic handheld varieties and reach up to $500.

Hoover’s range features:

  • Hoover Heritage Stick Vacuum (5210): $199 RRP*
  • Hoover Eco Pets Turbo Bagless Vacuum Cleaner (3013): $299 RRP*
  • Hoover Allergy Bagged Vacuum Cleaner (11120763): $599 RRP*
  • Hoover Ranger Robot Vacuum (5241): $599 RRP*

In this year’s review, Hoover rated four stars for ease of use, quietness, ease of emptying, and value for money. It got three stars in the remaining categories, including overall satisfaction.

Beko

Beko vacuum cleaner review

Beko deals exclusively in bagless vacuum cleaners with only two models available, claimed to cater to all floor types. Beko’s cordless 2-in-1 rechargeable stick vacuum is kitted with two speed settings, up to 40 minutes’ worth of runtime and a PerformCyclone function to suck up fine and large dust particles off your floors and to help give your carpets a deeper clean, as well as those hard-to-reach spots. Meanwhile, Beko’s bagless corded vacuum features a HEPA 13 filter to remove up to 99.98% of fine particles from the air, a 10m operating radius and a 1550W high-power motor.

Beko’s vacuum cleaner range includes:

  • Beko 1550W Bagless Vacuum Cleaner (VCO6325FD): $199 RPP*
  • Beko Practiclean 2-in-1 Handstick Vacuum Cleaner (VRT 82821 BV): $349 RRP*

Beko received four stars for quietness and three stars everywhere else, including for overall satisfaction.

Vax

Vax vacuum cleaner review

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. Vax’s range, on the whole, can be described as simple, yet powerful.

With a retail price tag of about $300, 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. For a cordless stick vacuum, the Vax Blade 2 Max (VX81), features a number of accessories and has a runtime of up to 45 minutes. The 2000W barrel models are available for less than $100, while most other model types are available for less than $300.

Vax’s line-up includes:

  • Vax Blade Cordless Handstick Vacuum Cleaner (VX60): $249 RRP*
  • Vax Power 7 Pet Barrel Vacuum Cleaner (VX72): $249 RRP*
  • Vax Blade Pet Pro Cordless Handstick Vacuum Cleaner (VX63): $299 RRP*

Vax was rated four stars for ease of use, ease of emptying and value for money. It got three stars for overall satisfaction and everywhere else.

Kmart

Kmart vacuum cleaner review

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. It has also branched out to offer several cordless stick vacuum models, with most boasting a maximum runtime of 25 minutes.

Prices start at just $13 for the wet & dry handheld vac, with most models costing less than $100. Its most expensive vacuum – the cordless stick vacuum with a 6V rechargeable lithium battery – has a price tag of $149 (although this model isn’t always available in-store). It features a 200W brushless motor and is designed with LED lights to help you see under couches and beds. You won’t necessarily sacrifice power with these cheap prices, as many models boast 2000W motors. However, you can’t expect the world, as Kmart vacuums are fairly basic in functionality and light on techy features in comparison to other brands.

Kmart models include:

  • Kmart Wet & Dry Vacuum Cleaner: $13 RRP*
  • Kmart 2-in-1 Corded Stick Vacuum: $29 RRP*
  • Kmart 2-in-1 Cordless Stick Vacuum: $69 RRP*
  • Kmart 2400W Bagless Vacuum: $95 RRP*

Kmart vacuums were rated three stars in all categories, including key factors such as effectiveness, ease of use, value for money and overall satisfaction.

Kogan

Kogan vacuum cleaner review

Kogan provides plenty of options in the vacuum department, from cordless stick designs to wet and dry units. There are also robot vacuums on offer, including the R10 that provides up to 60 minutes of working time. It features five cleaning modes, including a mopping function and is stated to have a disinfecting UV lamp and HEPA filters.

Kogan’s range features:

  • Kogan EasyClean R20 Robot Vacuum Cleaner & Mop: $89.99 RRP*
  • Kogan SmarterHome G30 Robot Vacuum Cleaner & Mop: $189 RRP*
  • Kogan Z11 Pro Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner: $239 RRP*
  • Kogan C10 Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner: $409.99 RRP*

Kogan rounded up the results with three stars in all categories, including for key factors such as effectiveness, ease of use, value for money and overall satisfaction.

Other brands

Aside from the major brands rated in this year’s review, there are several other brands worthy of your consideration, including:

Our 2021 survey of consumers who have recently bought a vacuum cleaner also revealed the following insights:

Vacuum cleaner buying guide

Top ratings were in fairly short supply in this year’s review, suggesting that consumers are quite hard to please when it comes to vacuum cleaners. One in ten survey respondents (12%) told us they are often disappointed with their vacuum cleaner’s performance, and roughly the same number (13%) regret not spending more on a better model. So, you’ll want to make sure you pick the right type of vacuum for your needs and preferences.

Not all vacuums are created equal, that’s why it’s SO important to compare specs, features, capacities, and designs, as well as brands and price, to find a vacuum cleaner that meets your unique needs and those of your household. If you want to avoid buying a lemon, we’ve compiled a quick buying guide (below) on how to buy the best vacuum cleaner for your home. Thank us later!

 

Vacuum sizes & capacities

Vacuum size & capacity

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, or are renting; upright or stick vacuums are ideal. They have a smaller footprint meaning they can be stored in smaller cupboards and easily moved around between properties, 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.

If you need a more powerful vacuum to cover more ground and if you’ve got pets, you’ll need a larger, heavy-duty barrel vacuum with enough capacity for bigger cleans and even multiple cycles. ‘Barrels’ have a stronger suction power and tend to be the most powerful of the lot. However, they can be bulky and difficult to store.

If storage space is at a premium in your household, it may be a good option to dismantle your vacuum to fit the main unit in a cupboard and place all accessories and removable parts in a bag to hang on the door. Be sure to take advantage of unused spaces in your home like under the stairs, the balcony, or the garage.

Type of vacuum cleaner

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.

Stick vacuum

Stick vacuums

Stick vacuums are lightweight and have a slim design. They can be either corded or cordless. However, cordless variants have limited runtimes. Stick vacs collect dust and dirt in a small detachable bin (0.6L- 1.7L) attached to the top or bottom of the unit. They’re are super lightweight and require hardly any set-up. Simply remove the vac from its docking station and turn it on to start cleaning. Stick vacs are best suited to hard floors and rugs but may struggle to clean carpets thoroughly. They also require more frequent emptying and charging.


Read more: Stick vacuum cleaners buying guide


Upright vacuums

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 dust bin 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.

Barrel vacuum

Barrell vacuums

Barrell 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.

Handheld vacuums

Handheld vacuums are vacuums that can be used with one hand. They’re designed to clean hard-to-reach areas such as behind furniture and to vacuum couches, dusty windowsills, and car seats. Handheld vacs are the most compact of the lot, so lack the power of larger vacuums. They come with various attachments to suit different surfaces, like a crevice tool and a rotating brush, while some models can also take care of wet spills.


Read more: Handheld vacuum cleaners buying guide


Robot vacuums

Robot vacuum cleaner

Robot vacuums are the ultimate gift for households short on time and for anyone looking to relegate cleaning the floors. Robot vacs are autonomous disc-shaped vacuums powered by a rechargeable battery in a charging dock that vacuum and mop floors when needed. They’re mostly used for touch-ups between regular manual vacuuming sessions. Most models are remote-controlled and feature sensors and mapping capabilities to avoid bumping into furniture or falling down the stairs.


Read more: Robot vacuum cleaners buying guide


There are pros and cons to different types of vacuum cleaners. Whether it’s not enough battery power from a stick vacuum or constantly tripping over corded barrel models, owning more than one type might be the way to go. If space is at a premium, a stick vacuum is generally easy to store as well as a handheld vacuum that’s ideal for small messes. Canister/barrel models are still the most common and are typically quite versatile with a variety of cleaning heads.

Suction power

Vacuum suction power

A vacuum cleaner’s performance always comes down to its suction power, which is measured in ‘Air Watts’. This refers to the airflow and power a vacuum cleaner produces and uses when pulling debris through the air. The higher the Air Watts, the more powerful suction you have. A strong suction motor is important especially if you have thick carpets and pets that shed a lot of hair.

Full-size corded vacuums have stronger suction power since they’re plugged into the wall and typically offer up 200-300 Air Watts, while cordless units sit around 100-200 Air Watts. However, many upright and stick vacs are slowly becoming just as powerful as their corded counterparts with brands like Dyson offering highly-efficient brushless motors and powerful lithium-ion batteries.

Smart tip:

Air Watts is not to be confused with the motor’s wattage which doesn’t necessarily equate to strong suction.

Which vacuum has the strongest suction?

Premium brands like Miele, Dyson, and Shark are typically regarded as having vacuums with strong suction power but don’t discount other brands like Bosch and iRobot either since consumers rated both of them best for overall satisfaction.

As a general rule, a vacuum that really sucks will have a minimum of 180 Air Watts. This should be powerful enough to clean all surface types, including carpets and hard floors.

Bagged vs bagless vacuums

Another important consideration is whether to buy a bagged or bagless vacuum cleaner. Bagged vacuums are considered more hygienic and are the option of choice for allergy sufferers and people with sensitives as they trap dirt and dust in an enclosed bag. However, bagless vacuums are still the most popular choice for the majority of households because they’re cheaper in the long run since they don’t use bags that’ll need to be replaced.

Here are some advantages and disadvantages to both:

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Vacuum Type

Pros

Cons

Bagged

  • HEPA filtration & hygienic emptying − these vacuums release less dust into the air
  • Require less maintenance
  • Indicator light alerts you when a new bag is needed
  • Suction power decreases when the bag gets full
  • Not eco-friendly (dust bags aren’t re-usable)
  • More expensive in the long run as you’ll need to buy replacement bags

Bagless

  • Easier to empty dust and dirt
  • Clear chambers on bagless vacuums make it easy to see when it needs emptying
  • More economical (save money on replacement bags)
  • Emptying dust bins can release more allergens into the air
  • Require more maintenance
  • Often feature filters (like HEPA filters) which will need to be cleaned and/or replaced more regularly

Read more: Vacuums with bags buying guide


Corded vs cordless vacuums

Cord vs cordless vacuum

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.

Runtime

Obviously, cordless vacuums have a limited runtime as they’re powered by a battery and not a plug-in. The best cordless vacuums feature a runtime of up to 30-60 minutes enough to clean large areas on a single battery charge. Definitely enquire about runtime when shopping for a cordless model, or you’ll end up having to stop and start your cleaning more often than you’d like to. Again, keep in mind cordless vacuums are not comparable to corded units in terms of suction power.


Read more: Cordless vacuum runtimes compared


Air filtration

Vacuum air filtration

Any vacuum worth its weight will feature HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters. These remove up to 99.97% of dust and allergens in the air (or particles as small as 0.3 micrometers in size). Vacuums with HEPA and full system filtration are also available. This level of air filtration is particularly crucial for people with asthma, allergies, or compromised immunity.

All vacuums come with filters of some sort but keep in mind not all filters are created equal. Some models come with mechanical air filters, some combine air filtration of the vacuum bag with air filters, others combine cyclonic action with mechanical air filters, etc. Only HEPA filters will get rid of all pathogens and allergens in the air.

Smart tip:

HEPA filters need to be regularly changed to work effectively. Some will be harder to replace than others so be sure to enquire about this before you purchase any model. Smaller filters naturally need to be changed more frequently than larger filters.


Read more: HEPA filter vacuums review


Features

There are a lot of different features to consider when buying a vacuum. These include intuitive controls, variable power settings for various floor types and pet hair, multiple nozzle heads and brushes for cleaning different areas, cord or cordless configuration, and accessories like crevice tools, dusting brushes, and extension wands. Vacuuming is meant to be fast and efficient, so an appliance that’s easy to operate is also essential. Many models also come as a 2-in-1, giving you the ability to vacuum with a full-sized vacuum and detach a handheld vacuum for smaller messes.

Cleaning tools & attachments

Vacuum accessories & cleaning tools

Most vacuum cleaners come with a suite of cleaning tools and accessories for cleaning various floors, crevices, dust, pet hair as well as other surfaces like upholstery, sofas, ceiling fans, mattresses, car interiors, etc. You can also purchase these accessories separately.

Common cleaning tools and accessories you can expect with a vacuum purchase include:

  • Crevice tool: as the name suggests, is a long and narrow cleaning tool designed for cleaning crevices and other hard-to-reach spots around your home like edges, corners, and gaps between furniture.
  • Dusting brush: sometimes comes combined in a convenient 2-in-1 design tool with the crevice tool and bristles at the end. The dusting brush is designed to ‘shake up’ and pick up extra fine particles of dust and dirt from surfaces while vacuuming.
  • Motorised (pet) tool: features a small brush roll usually powered by a small air turbine to pick up embedded dirt, pet and human hair, lint, fibres, and other dirt from surfaces. This tool is a must-have for people who have issues with pet or human hair clogging their vacuums.
  • Upholstery tool: features a soft edge to clean upholstery (as the name suggests), including beds, sofas, mattresses, and other soft surfaces. Some vacuums also come with a dedicated mattress tool.
  • Extension wand: can be attached to the vacuum’s nozzle to create an extension to clean ceilings and awkward spaces.

Noise levels

When doing your research, make sure to check out the vacuum’s noise emission if you want to keep the peace with your neighbours or your sleeping baby. Most vacuums display noise levels in decibels (dB). As a general rule AVOID anything noisier than 80dB. Any models with noise levels between 65dB and 75dB are what you should look for.

You’d think a cyclonic vacuum cleaner would be inherently noisy, especially with the sucking power available on newer models. In spite of this, many vacuum brands have committed to reducing the noise produced by their appliances, with some impressive results.

Vacuum cleaners for pets

If you have fur babies (congratulations), a barrel vacuum is easily the best type of model to clean up pet hair. This is because a) they have a stronger suction power than upright or stick vacs and b/ because they come with specialised tools like a motorised pet hair brush roll to clean up pet hair and the rest of it.

However, several brands including Dyson and Miele have launched ‘Pet’ stick cordless vacuums that specialise in cleaning up pet messes. These come with strong suction, anti-odour filters to neutralise pet smells, and turbo brush floor heads to remove pet hair and dander from carpets and hard floors.


Read more: Good vacuum cleaners for pet hair


Price

Price is the most important consideration when buying a vacuum, according to our survey. Our research found Australians spend an average of $404 on a new vacuum, which isn’t cheap by any stretch. The good news is vacuum cleaners come at all different price points, ranging from $50 and going upwards of $1,000! Ultimately your budget will determine what you’re comfortable paying for a new vacuum cleaner, but don’t forget – price alone isn’t the sole determiner of value. Be sure to compare the price against the vacuum’s advertised features, runtime, and suction power. Our review should provide a helpful start to your buying journey!

About the author of this page

This report was written by Canstar Blue’s home & lifestyle journalist, Tahnee-Jae Lopez-Vito. She’s an expert on household appliances, grooming products and all things grocery and shopping. In addition to translating our expert research into consumer-friendly ratings reports, Tahnee spends her time helping consumers make better-informed purchase decisions on all manner of consumer goods and services, while highlighting the best deals and anything you need to be aware of.

 

Compare Stick Vacuums

 

*Prices are taken from retailer websites, correct as of September 2021.

Picture credit: Lazy_Bear/ Shutterstock.com.

Frequently Asked Questions

Department stores like Kmart and Target, and budget brands like Beko, Bosch, and Philips tend to have cheap vacuum cleaners in their range with prices ranging from $50-$300. Just keep in mind that cheaper isn’t always better and ‘cheaper’ doesn’t always equate to good value for money. Be sure to consider price alongside features and specs to determine the value of a vacuum cleaner.

Premium brands have traditionally outperformed their cheaper counterparts in our consumer ratings – suggesting expensive vacuum cleaners could indeed be worth it, providing they offer more than just strong suction power and gimmicks. For some households, features like smart connectivity, LED lights and self-cleaning technology are important and therefore worth paying a little extra for.

Premium brands like Miele, Dyson, and Shark are typically regarded as having vacuums with strong suction power but don’t discount other brands like Bosch and iRobot either since consumers rated both of them best for overall satisfaction.

As a general rule, a vacuum that really sucks will have a minimum of 180 Air Watts. This should be powerful enough to clean all surface types, including carpets and hard floors.

Here are the best vacuum cleaners in Australia, as rated in our latest review:

  • Best vacuum cleaners for overall satisfaction: iRobot (Roomba) and Bosch vacuum cleaners tied as the best brands for overall satisfaction.
  • Best vacuum cleaners for value for money: Piranha vacuum cleaners ranked best for value for money.
  • Best vacuum cleaners for effectiveness of clean: Aussies surveyed rated Miele vacuum cleaners as the most effective at cleaning.
  • Best vacuum cleaners for ease of use: iRobot (Roomba) vacuum cleaners were seen as the easiest to use.
  • Best vacuum cleaners for ease of storage: iRobot (Roomba) vacuum cleaners also placed first for ease of storage.
  • Best vacuum cleaners for ease of emptying: Samsung vacuum cleaners were rated as the easiest to empty.
  • Best vacuum cleaners for quietness: Consumers rated Bosch vacuum cleaners number one in terms of noise.

More information on our ratings

Canstar Blue surveyed 3,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased and used a vacuum cleaner in the last three years – in this case, 2,944 people.

Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.

Here are the past winners of Canstar Blue’s vacuum cleaner ratings:

  • 2020: Miele
  • 2019: Miele
  • 2018: Miele
  • 2017: Miele
  • 2016: Shark
  • 2015: Dyson
  • 2014: Shark
  • 2013: Dyson
  • 2011: Dyson





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