Gadgets That Really Suck
The best high-tech vacuum cleaners
The humble upright cleaner has undergone quite the transformation in recent years. Bagless cylinders have become more powerful and less noisy, while more efficient motors enable you to clean better without using too much energy. Some double as handheld cleaners, which is really handy if you need to get rid of crumbs from the car seats or vacuum spaces where a normal vacuum can’t reach or won’t fit.
The biggest change in vacuum cleaners since the arrival of bagless models is the improvements in both motor technology and battery technology: where until fairly recently a cordless model couldn’t hope to deliver anything close to the suction of a corded model, today’s top cordless vacuums are both powerful and long lasting. They’re not cheap – the Dyson V11 Absolute is just under £600 – but they’re very impressive.
Robot vacuums have come a long way, too. It’s not a great idea to buy the very cheapest models but robot cleaners from the likes of Eufy do a good job for around £200 upwards; if money’s no object the iRobot Roomba range just gets better, with the Roomba J7+ delivering spectacular cleaning – albeit for nearly £800. Samsung’s Jet Bot vacuums are superb too, and some models even enable you to watch on your phone through their camera as they scoot around your floors.
Some vacuum cleaners are masters of multiple tasks. For example, the Miele Triflex HX1 Cat and Dog can be used as an upright vacuum or a handheld one, and it has a pet-hair tool to shift even the most stubborn hairs from your furniture, carpets and rugs. Many Shark vacuums are similarly flexible.
If money is no object then the Dyson V15 Detect Animal may be the best vacuum cleaner you can buy right now. It automatically increases the suction power when it detects larger or more numerous dust particles, it detangles hair from the brush bar and it runs for up to an hour of constant use without losing any suction. At around £500 it’s hardly cheap but it’s superbly well-made and cleans very effectively; it also includes tools for getting into awkward corners and for cleaning pet hair from upholstery.
Dyson V15 Detect Animal
The V15 Detect range includes multiple models; this is the one that’s best for pet owners. Whichever one you go for you’re getting very powerful suction from a very flexible and lightweight cleaner with useful attachments included.
Samsung Jet Bot
Samsung’s Jet Bot range uses similar detection technology to self-driving cars and enables you to set no-go areas so they only clean where and when you want them to. The large capacity bin means you’re not constantly having to empty it.
The Anti Hair Wrap system in this cleaner prevents long hairs from clogging the brush. It’s an odd-looking thing but it’s incredibly flexible: the main unit detaches so you can clean up high or underneath the sofa.
Miele Triflex HX1 Cat and Dog
Miele is probably best known for its cylinder cleaners, but its bagless stick vacuums are really impressive: this 3-in-1 convertible is a handheld, an upright and a stick vacuum with up to an hour between charges.
Eufy RoboVac 30C
Eufy is part of Anker, one of the world’s biggest tech accessory makers, and its RoboVac range offers surprisingly good cleaning performance for a very low price: with up to 1,500Pa of suction power it makes short work of everyday dust and dirt.