Canstar Blue’s 2019 vacuum cleaner review has seen Miele, Dyson, LG, Bosch, Vax, Hoover, Black & Decker, Electrolux, Kogan and Kmart compared on their effectiveness of clean, ease of use, value for money, battery life, ease of emptying, ease of storage, quietness and overall satisfaction.
See our Ratings Methodology.
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 1,500 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 expensive brands are coming up trumps, with Miele topping the ratings for the third year in a row. 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 a Miele vacuum cleaner are clearly the happiest of the lot. Miele scored five stars for effectiveness, ease of use, value for money, ease of emptying and overall customer satisfaction this year.
Canstar Blue’s 2019 review of vacuum cleaners saw 10 brands compared, rated in the following order for overall customer satisfaction:
This year, Dyson, LG, Bosch and Vax achieved four stars overall, with Hoover, Black & Decker, Electrolux, Kogan and Kmart all receiving three stars. Miele was rated best on value for money, followed by Kmart. Dyson was rated best on ease of storage, ahead of Black & Decker and LG, while for battery life, Vax was the pick of the bunch, followed by LG.
These ratings are based on all types of vacuum cleaners – from small handheld vacuums for your car, to large barrel vacuums that specialise in pet hair, plus the latest and greatest handstick vacuum cleaners.
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.
Miele makes cylinder vacuum cleaners (bagged & bag free 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 10502220 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 $500 and its cylinder models start at about $330, but some cost closer to $1,000, including Miele’s robot vacuums.
Miele cleaned up the competition in this year’s vacuum review, scoring five stars for overall satisfaction and the majority of other categories, except for ease of use and quietness where it received four stars.
Miele’s latest models include:
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 V11 – is boasted for powerful suction power and up to 60 minutes of run time, although comes with a retail price tag of $1,249.
Dyson was rated best for ease of storage, and received four stars for overall satisfaction in this year’s review. It also rated four stars for effectiveness, ease of use, battery life and ease of emptying. However, given its premium prices, Dyson scored just three stars in terms of value for money, plus quietness.
Dyson’s vacuum range includes:
LG specialises in stick and robot vacuums, with a total of 14 models up for grabs at the time of writing. 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 run time per battery. It’s boasted for an ergonomic design with a telescopic pipe able to be adjusted to four different lengths as well as its Opti-balanced handle.
Its handstick range isn’t cheap, priced from $699 to $1,899, which might explain why it got just three stars on value for money. However, LG was rated best on battery life, ease of storage and quietness. It received four stars for overall satisfaction as well as ease of use, ease of emptying, plus three stars on effectiveness.
LG’s vacuum range features:
Another brand boasting a reputation for German quality, Bosch provides a range of vacuum cleaners, including cordless stick and cylinder vacuums (bagged & bag free units). Some common features you’ll find in its handstick line up are the All Floor High Power Brush, claimed to deliver a thorough clean, plus SensorBagless Technology, stated to continuously monitor the unit’s airflow.
The Bosch Athlet RuntimePlus stick vacuum is boasted for one the longest runtimes around of up to 75 minutes. Other aspects include Bosch’s Smart Sensor 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 if the filters are clogged. All of its vacuums can be had for less than $800, with some of its models being priced as low as $299.
Bosch was rated four stars for overall satisfaction as well as for most other rated variables, except on quietness where it was rated three stars.
Bosch’s range includes:
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 leads 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 Dynamo barrel 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 (VX82), features a number of accessories and has a run time 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 was rated best on battery life but got four stars for overall vacuum satisfaction and for most other categories except for quietness, which was rated three stars.
Vax’s line-up includes:
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 Ultra-Light stick vacuum is boasted for its motorised powered head, stated to provide an effective clean and offering up to 20 minutes of run time. It features a motorised power head and multi-cyclonic bagless technology. Hoover prices start from about $50 for the most basic handheld varieties, while the premium bagless models cost up to $1,000.
In this year’s review, Hoover rated three stars for overall satisfaction, effectiveness, ease of use, value for money and quietness, with four stars for battery life, ease of emptying and ease of storage.
Hoover’s range features:
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 Multi-power Allergy Vacuum is designed for allergy sufferers. It features a Dual HEPA filtration system claimed to trap 99.92% of dust particles, plus a run time of up to 60 minutes with a charging time of 6 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.
The brand was rated five stars for ease of storage but just three stars for overall satisfaction, ease of use and value for money. However, it earned four stars on effectiveness, battery life, ease of emptying and quietness.
Black & Decker’s range include:
Electrolux makes a wide variety of rechargeable, canister 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 F9 stick vacuum is the latest addition, boasted to combine the performance of a traditional vacuum cleaner with versatility. It provides up to 60 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 was rated three stars for overall vacuum satisfaction in 2019 and the majority of other categories, but scored four stars on effectiveness of clean and ease of use.
Electrolux’s models include:
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.
Its T8 handstick model is stated to offer up to 30 minutes of vacuuming with a 22V battery. It features a motorised hard floor brush head as well as a roller mop brush head for carpets, in addition to a compact brush head for cleaning upholstery. Prices range from $50 to $300 with its stick vacuums being the most expensive in the range.
Kogan was rated three stars for overall satisfaction, effectiveness, ease of emptying and quietness, with four stars for ease of use, value for money and ease of storage.
Kogan’s range features:
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 into the cordless stick vacuum range, boasting a maximum run time of 25 minutes with its latest addition.
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. It features a 200W brushless motor and is designed with LED light 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 vacuums were rated best on value for money in 2019, but received just three stars for overall satisfaction and all other categories.
Kmart models include:
Aside from the major brands rated in this year’s review, there are several other brands worthy of your consideration, including:
Our 2019 survey of consumers who have recently bought a vacuum cleaner also revealed the following insights:
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 four survey respondents (25%) told us they are often disappointed with their vacuum cleaner’s performance, and the same number (25%) 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.
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. Here are some specific factors to consider before buying a new vacuum.
A big factor in how easily a vacuum cleaner is to use and store, size can vary greatly between different models, but it often comes down to a situation of ‘less is more’. From convenient handheld cleaners to uprights and full-sized wheeled models, a compact vacuum cleaner is easier to move around, can clean in tighter spaces and can be stored away with little fuss.
Vacuuming is meant to be fast and efficient, so an appliance that’s easy to operate is essential. This can include features such as intuitive controls, multiple nozzle heads for cleaning different areas, a portable design, and several other factors. Some models also come as a two in one pack, giving you the ability to vacuum with a full sized vacuum and detach a handheld vacuum for smaller messes.
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. When doing your research, make sure to check out the vacuum’s noise emission, so that you don’t end up waking up your neighbours on a Saturday morning.
Nearly half of our respondents told us that their most important consideration when buying a vacuum was the price, and value for money is certainly a big factor when buying a vacuum, especially considering most had their previous vacuum for over six years.
When asked about the biggest deciding factor in the purchase of a new vacuum cleaner, consumers said:
When deciding which type of vacuum is the best for your home and family, give some thought to your vacuuming requirements (i.e. how much space do you need to cover) and any specific circumstances or requirements, such as family members with allergies, or pets that have a tendency to shed lots of hair. You’ll likely need to spend several hundred dollars on a top-of-the-line model, which should last you several years, or you can pay less than $50 for a vacuum that – in all probability – will have a fairly modest life expectancy. You generally get what you pay for with vacuum cleaners, so choose wisely.
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.
*Prices taken from retailer website, correct as of January 2020
Our latest customer satisfaction research saw a number of brands rated best in different categories:
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 3 years – in this case, 1,543 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.
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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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