How to choose a new vacuum cleaner

Chris Torney / 16 September 2015

Thinking of replacing your vacuum cleaner? To help you choose the right one, we take a look at a few factors to take into consideration before buying.

There are so many factors to take into consideration when buying a new vacuum cleaner. These include price, weight, manoeuvrability, energy efficiency and what type of floor you need it for. So what are your options and how do you choose the right one? Here’s a quick guide on the different types of vacuum cleaners on the market.

Cylinder vs upright

The two main types of vacuum are cylinder models, which are more compact and have a longer suction hose attachment, or uprights.

Cylinders tend to be lighter: they can reach awkward nooks and crannies and are easier to move around – this might be an important consideration if you need to take your cleaner up and down stairs or if you would struggle to cope with a heavier model. Cylinders should also take up less storage space.

Upright cleaners are better suited if you have large areas of floor, especially carpet, to cover, and uprights can pick up pet hair better.

Bagged vs bagless

There are lots of vacuums now which have followed Dyson’s lead and gone bagless: this means the dust is sucked up into a chamber which is emptied directly into a bin when full.

There shouldn’t be any difference in performance between these two types of vacuum. Bagless cleaners can be a bit messier and if you have a dust allergy, they could be more of a problem. (Allergy sufferers should consider buying a vacuum which has Hepa or S-Class filters.)

But if you choose a bagged cleaner, you will have to pay for replacement bags every now and again.

Corded vs cordless

There are a growing number of vacuums that don’t need to be plugged in during use – instead, they are recharged from the mains before they are needed.

These models can be easier to take around the house, but their charge will only last for a few minutes. Generally speaking, they have less suction power, but can be suitable for smaller homes.

Energy efficiency

New EU rules have put limits on how powerful new vacuums can be, but the latest models can still perform perfectly well. 

Each cleaner has an energy efficiency rating running from A (the most efficient) to G, so check this before you buy. The rating should also indicate how well suited a cleaner is to hard floors and carpet.


Some cleaners can cost well as little as £50 but these are less likely to be more powerful and reliable models. For a decent cleaner, you can expect to pay something nearer £100, if not more. 

Ask friends and family for recommendations or check reviews on websites such as

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.