When we review vacuum cleaners we look at the following things:
Manoeuvrability –Here we look at how easy it is to steer, pull and lift the machine. We test on carpets and hard floors and look for problems such as overbalancing on upright machines, flexibility and common issues like “sticking” heads on hard floors due to poorly designed cleaner heads.
Carpet cleaning – We test using white powder on dark carpets and include before-and-after photos of carpet cleaning after three sweeps, where one sweep is up and down across the area.
Edge cleaning – Our carpet test also includes how well the machine cleans up to the edge of skirting boards before you have to resort to specialist crevice tools.
Hard floor cleaning – We conduct similar tests on hard floors and look at how well the vacuum cleaner sucks dust up from crevices and gaps in flooring.
Pet hair cleaning – We test how long and how many sweeps it takes to clean a 40cm-diameter circle of combed-in pet hair.
Cleaning on stairs – We see how easy it is to clean on stairs using the tools provided. We pay particular attention to how long the detachable hose is and how easy it is to carry the vacuum cleaner if you need to.
Noise – We measure how noisy the machine is in decibels recorded at head level.
We also check to see what accessories are included, how well they work and how versatile the machine is. For example, some vacuum cleaners are good at specific jobs or have small capacities that mean they’re only suitable for smaller homes, while others have lots of tools that make them suitable for a variety of jobs.
Other details we check are the cord length on corded vacuum cleaners, the battery life on cordless models and how easy it is to empty bagless models.