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How to compare hoovers: A Crowdstorm buyer’s guide

Nobody likes hoovering, but it has to be done – and a good hoover can make the whole process so much less miserable! But as it’s an electrical item we rarely need to purchase, meaning few of us are experts (you know who you are!).

Well thankfully for most of you, we’ve put together this guide to point you in the right direction. For such an un-sexy home appliance there’s a surprising amount of choice to be had, offering genuine variety, but we’ll walk you through all the key decision points.

At Crowdstorm you'll find all the best vacuum cleaners from the leading manufacturers - and available direct from here from all your favourite online and high street stores.

Types of hoover

Vacuums come in all shapes and sizes – from small handheld devices perfect for the car right through to robotic devices that promise to take the chore away completely (unless you’re scared of them taking over the world, of course). But for most the key decision will tend to be cylinder or upright.

  • Cylinder/canister models (think: the classic Henry vacuum cleaner) tend to have a squat box design, making them highly portable – so great for stairs and awkward spaces – as well as hard floors (where suction works best). They also tend to be lighter, smaller and cheaper.
  • Upright vacuum cleaners (think classic Dyson) are great for big carpets as well as low wattage, as the dirt has less distance to travel. They’re also easier to store (if you have space) and to control, making them better for large areas.
  • Stick vacuums are lightweight and great for manouevring around furniture, especially to get to tough areas or to give an area a quick going over. But they tend to be less powerful, while cordless models will have a short battery life - not great for a big clean. 
  • Cordless vacuum cleaners have grown in popularity, thanks to their lightness and ease of moving around into - as well as getting into tricky areas. But they can be pricey and don't clean quite as well; let alone usually having quite a short battery life (which may or may not be an issue, depending on the size of your space).

At Crowdstorm you’ll also find a great range of wet and dry hoovers (perfect for a messy home or workshop, as you can hoover up liquids and small debris too), carpet cleaners (for cleaning carpets…) and steam cleaners (for cleaning everything from large hardwood floors to car interiors).

Vacuum cleaner manufacturers

You’ll find a good range of both upright and cylinder hoovers in the £50 range, available from household names (Morphy Richards, Zanussi, Hoover and Vax, for example) and offering great value for relatively straightforward conditions.

You’ll start to see the premium vacuum brands such as Dyson, Miele and Sebo come in at around the £200 price point in uprights, while the Numatic range (Henry, Hetty etc) start around the £100 mark for cylinder hoovers (which are generally cheaper).

In theory what you’re paying for at higher price ranges is reliability, longevity and ease of handling over larger or more problematic spaces – as well as various levels of gadgetry and bells/whistles that you may or may not ever use.

Dust collection and filtration

When it comes to choosing between a bagged or bagless hoover, there are several points to consider:

  • Bagged models are often cheap hoovers, as the better models come with bags that seal the dust in, meaning they’re much less hassle to dispose of – especially for those with allergies.
  • Bagless vacuums may be more expensive, but you don’t have to keep shelling out money on bags – let alone avoiding the hassle of fitting them correctly (which can be fiddly). However you may be exposed to the dust when emptying (although top models include anti-bacterial agents in the filters).

If you do go for a bagged model, be sure to look at bag capacity. The bigger the bag the less you have to change it, of course; and with the capacity (measured in litres) ranging from 1-4l there can be a big difference. Just bear in mind that larger models will also be heavier.

With bagless models especially, instead you need to think about filtration. While great in theory you may find yourself cleaning filters a lot more than you’d like, especially if you let dirt build up or don’t have a hoover fit for your circumstances (if you have pets, for example).

But on the plus side, look for specific types of filters for your circumstances: charcoal filters for pets (help neutralise odours) and S-class (or HEPA) filters for allergy sufferers.

Motor and suction power – and energy efficiency

Thanks to the good old EU, all hoovers now have to display their energy rating (although you may find pre-September 2014 models that are too old to be covered). 

All vacs must now have power below 1,600 watts and consume less than 62kWH – but there is still much variation below this.

Bagless hoovers are, on average, more energy efficient. They need a smaller motor as they need less suction power, as the dirt has less distance to travel into the container.

But the energy rating sticker will also tell you how efficient each model is at removing dirt from both carpets and hard floors, so it’s definitely worth checking out before you buy. You can even check its decibel level (we presume the most rock ones go up to 11!).

In terms of suction power, unfortunately different suppliers will give you different measurement types. Useful. Ideally look for high airflow (100CFM is good, with 50CFM at the lower end of standarrd vacs); or solid air watts (100+AW for upright, 200+ for canister).

The final decision

Finally, we always like to bring Crowdstorm customers back to earth before making their final decision. Think about your budget and what exactly you need your new hoover to do. As well as the more technical aspects talked about above, how important is the vacuum’s weight – or do you need to check cable length if you don’t have many sockets?

Once you’ve decided, you can use our filters to narrow down your search and compare the most likely suspects. You’ll find all the best prices here – and all you need to do is follow the links through to great retailers such as Argos and Currys (sadly Sainsbury’s and Asda no longer sells hoovers online). Happy hoovering!