2017 Vacuum Cleaner Reviews & Ratings
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Canstar Blue reviews and rates vacuum cleaners from Bosch, Dyson, Electrolux, Hoover, Kmart, Miele, Shark, Vax, Volta and Wertheim on their cleaning effectiveness, ease of use, quietness, ease of storage, value for money, and overall customer satisfaction.
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Canstar Blue research finalised in May 2017, published in May 2017.
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Miele blows away the competition to lead vacuum ratings
When it comes to household cleaning, there’s nothing more annoying than a vacuum cleaner that really sucks (in a bad way)! Buying a cheap and cheerful vacuum cleaner may seem like a good idea at the time, but you could live to regret it. A theme to emerge from Canstar Blue’s annual customer reviews and ratings over the years is that the generally more expensive brands are coming up trumps. Dyson and Shark have dominated these ratings dating back to 2011, but in 2017 there is a new top-rated brand in town – Miele.
Perhaps best known for washing machines and dishwashers, Miele is now earning a reputation as a leading brand in the world of vacuum cleaners. This is the first year that Miele has achieved the sample size required to be included in our review – and has shot straight to the top, scoring five stars for cleaning effectiveness, quietness, ease of storage and value for money. It also got four stars for ease of use. This year, Dyson and Shark both rated four stars overall. Other results of note include:
- Five stars for Electrolux on quietness
- Five stars for Dyson on ease of storage
- Five stars for Shark on effectiveness, ease of use and quietness
Top ratings were in fairly short supply this year, suggesting consumers are quite hard to please when it comes to vacuum cleaners – and rightly so. One in five survey respondents (21%) told us they are often disappointed with their vacuum cleaner’s performance, and the same number regret not spending more on a better model. If you know the feeling, consider what each of the 10 brands in this year’s review has to offer below.
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Vacuum cleaners in Australia
Miele makes cylinder vacuum cleaners, upright stick vacuums, and an array of robot vacuum cleaners. Its vacuums come in a variety of different sizes and colours to suit most domestic duties and homes. Miele is not generally known for offering gimmicky features and instead just focuses on ‘tried and true’ ingenuity and German engineering, with predictably efficient results. Miele’s upright vacuum range starts at around $350 and its cylinder models start at about $330, but some cost more than $1,000. Miele’s robot vacuums cost around $1,200. Miele cleaned up the competition in this year’s vacuum review, scoring five stars for overall customer satisfaction and in most categories, except ease of use where it was rated a still respectable four stars.
Bosch has a variety of bagged and bagless cylinder vacuum cleaners, as well as upright models. Typical of Bosch, expect its vacuum cleaners to be feature-rich. Take the ‘Pro Silence’ series for example, that claims to boast a low sound level of just 59dB, which is about the same level as a typical dishwasher. Bosch’s bagged models start at about $300, but to get the Pro Silence series you’ll need to spend closer to $600-$700, while the upright and bagless models cost anywhere from $400 all the way up to nearly $900. Bosch was rated four stars for overall satisfaction in our 2017 review. It rated four stars in most categories, except on value for money where it was rated three stars.
A vacuum cleaner specialist, Dyson makes a wide range of barrel, upright 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 big ball instead of wheels. Dyson is generally seen as a premium brand of vacuum cleaner, and most models cost in excess of $500, while some cost $1,000 or more! Dyson was rated four stars for overall satisfaction in this year’s customer ratings, but did rate five stars for ease of storage, which may be useful if you’re in a tight area or just don’t like messing about with cords and hoses.
Electrolux makes a wide variety of handheld, upright and barrel vacuum cleaners. Most barrel models are bagless and 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 claims to be the quietest series in the Electrolux range. Models start at about $150 for the handheld varieties, while upright and barrel models start at around $250 and can cost up to $600-$700. Electrolux was another brand to be rated four stars for overall vacuum satisfaction in 2017, but was rated five stars for quietness, which seems to back up some of its claims.
The brand that is now also a verb, Hoover makes a huge variety of different bagged and bagless upright vacuums, plus handheld and robot vacuums. It even makes a range of cordless upright vacuums powered by lithium-ion batteries. For the serious vacuum cleaner enthusiasts, there is also a backpack vacuum on offer, to make it look like you’re operating a jetpack. Hoover prices start at about $100 for the most basic handheld varieties, while the premium bagless models cost up to $1,000. In this year’s review, Hoover was rated four stars for overall satisfaction and in every other category except quietness, where it was rated three stars.
Previously only available to buy through TV infomercials, Shark vacuum cleaners are now widely available through various big-box retailers. Shark specialises in upright vacuum cleaners, which feature handy features like LED lights and flexible swivel heads. However, one of Shark’s biggest selling points is the weight of is vacuums, with most weighing in at under 5kg. But Shark backs up the features with some serious power and innovation, especially in the form of the ‘Rocket’ series with a vacuum that delivers ‘triple particle cleaning’, which is said to make light work of small, large and stuck-on dirt particles. Shark’s vacuums cost around $400-$500. The company was rated four stars overall in this year’s review, but earned five stars in some key categories – effectiveness, ease of use and quietness.
Vax is a specialist in vacuum cleaners and floor care. It makes a fairly concise range of bagless barrel vacuums, upright models, and handheld models. 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. 2000W barrel models are available for less than $100, while most other model types are available for less than $400. Vax was rated four stars for overall vacuum satisfaction and in most other categories. It rated three stars on value for money and quietness.
Despite what the name may suggest, Wertheim is an Australian brand owned by Godfreys, sold exclusively in Australia and New Zealand. It is a concise range of models, encompassing upright, barrel and cylinder vacuums. In the range there are four models in total, with two bagless and two demanding bags. Most are said to specialise in pet hair removal, with extra functionality for stubborn hair. Prices are generally at the cheaper end, starting at less than $200, while dearer models can cost up to $400. Wertheim was rated four stars in this year’s review, but it did rate three stars on value for money and quietness.
The cheap and cheerful department store specialising in homewares and cheap electronics has a range of vacuum cleaners for Aussie consumers to choose from. It has a fairly large range of budget-oriented vacuums, with upright, handheld, bagless barrel and bagged cylinder models on offer. Prices start at just $29, with most models costing less than $50. 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 basic in functionality and light on techy features. Kmart vacuums were rated three stars for overall satisfaction in 2017, with just two stars when it comes to quietness.
Volta is another brand with a focus on budget pricing. It has a concise range of cylinder/barrel vacuum cleaners, with prices generally relating to how powerful the motor is, and whether you get a bagless model focused on pet hair removal or not. Most notable is the ‘Sierra Bagless Pet Plus’ model, which boasts a space-age design, a specialist pet nozzle and just 6.5kg in mass. Like other budget brands, you can’t expect the earth, but if you’re after a cheap vacuum Volta may be up your alley. Prices start at below $100, while other models are around $200. Rounding out this year’s review, Volta scored three stars for overall satisfaction and in most other categories. It did, however, rate a respectable four stars for effectiveness, which is noteworthy considering the budget pricing.
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Don’t be a sucker
There isn’t much middle ground when it comes to buying a vacuum cleaner. 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. Our 2017 research found that households are spending an average of $338 on new vacuum cleaners, which suggests a good mix of cheap and expensive vacuums finding their way into Aussie homes. When deciding which type of vacuum is 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 with a tendency to shed lots of hair.
You generally get what you pay for with vacuum cleaners, so choose wisely.
Frequently Asked Questions
Canstar Blue commissioned Colmar Brunton to survey 3,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have bought and used a new vacuum cleaner in the last 3 years – in this case, 1,517 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 alphabetically. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.