The Best Vacuum Cleaner for a Spotless HomeThe Best Vacuum Cleaner for a Spotless Home

The Best Vacuum Cleaner

Or how to get your clean freak on.
Sarah Idle
Words by 
Sarah Idle
Updated 
Aug 17, 2020
To keep Cosier guides free, we’re reader supported. That means if you buy something via a link on this page, we might earn a commission. Thanks for that.

At a glance

#lockdown has taught us some really useful stuff. Like we were way less equipped for virtual meetings than we thought. And we were way more ready for banana bread than in any other stage of history. And that celebrities really exist in another dimension to us mere mortals as they complain about life in their mansions, complete with staff to do everything for them, from cooking to cleaning. We can’t give you an actual cleaner but we can give you the best vacuum cleaner that’ll clean so well, it’ll be just as good as having a cleaner. (Probably.)

How we picked

Friends, we cheated a bit. Because we’ve already done multiple vacuum guides (covering stick, handheld, pet, barrel and upright and robot vacuums), we were able to pull our top picks from there. This means that these vacuums are truly Australia’s best vacuums and the ones that really impressed us. 

Every one of our picks was based on hours of research which included checking CHOICE, Australia’s biggest consumer advocacy group. This let us know which vacuums performed best in a test environment. We also swung by ProductReview.com.au, to see which vacuums Aussies rate. Finally, we did some virtual window shopping to find the vacuums with the best crowd-pleasing features.

The 7 best vacuum cleaners in Australia

Best for most -> Miele C3 Powerline Complete

Miele C3 Powerline Complete

The Miele Complete C3 Powerline is one heck of a vacuum cleaner - in fact, it’s our pick for Australia’s best barrel vacuum. This exceptional sucker is solidly made, winning ProductReview.com.au awards for the last 3 years in a row. It's a bagged vacuum cleaner, and has a clever foot-controlled system to increase and decrease suction power. This makes it suitable for almost any surface - from bedroom blackout curtains to your nana's 20-year-old carpets.

We like that the Miele C3 Powerline has an in-built parking slot for the vacuum head, so you don't have to balance the hose on something and pray it stays there. Its locking system is also clever. The hose, suction head and handle all lock together neatly, which means it won't fall apart mid-vacuum. But the Miele goes further still, with a long cable and suction hose for an 11-metre range.

The Miele C3 Powerline is also stocked with on-board attachments. It includes an upholstery nozzle, crevice nozzle, and dusting brush, hiding neatly in the top of the unit. The C3 also has a temperature limiter for thermal protection, so it'll stop automatically if the cleaner starts to overheat. It even has a soft bumper strip around the base to protect your walls and furniture from the odd bruise.

It's an understatement to say Aussies love the Miele C3 Powerline. It scored just over 4.5 stars from more than 500 reviews on ProductReview.com.au, with several folks ditching their bagless vacuums for the Miele's high-powered suction. Despite its oomph, reviewers say this model is surprisingly quiet, with easy-to-change filters. Some did find their C3s ran into trouble just outside of warranty, and for $599, it's not the cheapest vacuum.

Choose this if...

You want one of the top-rated vacuum cleaners in Australia with loads of clever features, including intuitive foot controls, a locking handle, 3-step filtration, and ergonomic design.

Best for luxury -> SEBO Airbelt K3 Premium

SEBO Airbelt K3 Premium

If you’re serious about picking up dirt, meet the SEBO Airbelt K3 Premium - our pick for the best pet hair vacuum. It’s both allergy and asthma friendly and boasts 100% pet hair pick up. Which seems like a big claim, but it’s the best performer in 9 consecutive CHOICE tests, which states it’s “Excellent at picking up dirt and pet hair”. It’s also approved by the National Asthma Council Australia Sensitive Choice programme.

Credentials aside, it has the luxury features you’d expect. This includes a power brush for deep cleaning of your carpets and rugs. The brush has an electronic alert system, which indicates the correct height setting for best cleaning performance for the floor height. If you don’t need a brush roller all the time, you can switch to suction only mode with a simple button push. 

SEBO vacuums use S-class filtration, which is very similar to HEPA. It comes with a range of on-board accessories including dusting, crevice and upholstery tools to help you get into the smallest nooks and crannies. As well as the power brush, it has a parquet and combination floor tool. This helps you tackle every floor type in your home.

Unlike Dyson, SEBO believes that bags are best, especially for asthma and allergies sufferers. That’s because dust is safely retained within the filter bag, allowing you to cleanly and easily dispose of it in a bin. This German-made vacuum comes with a 2-year warranty and a steep price: it’s RRP $1,299. It currently has almost 5 stars on ProductReview.com.au (from a very limited number of reviews).

Choose this if...

You want a barrel vacuum with big claims that are backed by independent CHOICE testing and that can tackle all floor types - for a big price (RRP $1,299).

Best for budget -> Bosch GL-30 Free'e ProPower

Bosch GL-30 Free'e ProPower

The Bosch GL-30 Free'e ProPower is our pick for the best (barrel) vacuum on a budget: coming in at just under $300. It's also a great choice for allergy sufferers, with a washable lifetime HEPA filter that absorbs over 99% of airborne particles. This vacuum uses self-sealing dust bags so you won't undo all your hard work when you empty it. It also comes with an upholstery tool, carpet brush, floor brush, and crevice nozzle. 

This CHOICE-reviewed vacuum boasts a super-sucking, German-made motor with variable power levels for different surfaces. The Bosch is also designed to be quieter and lighter than other vacuums, and is one of the smaller models we've seen. This makes it an ideal choice for apartments and smaller homes, or for anyone not naturally gifted with the strength of the Incredible Hulk. 

Aussies are big fans of the Bosch GL-30 Free'e ProPower vacuum, giving it almost 4 stars from over 20 reviews on ProductReview.com.au. People like the strong tube and dependable suction, although some find it so strong it's hard to push on carpets and rugs. Some also complain about the handle, as there's no locking system, which means the hose sometimes comes apart mid-vacuum.

Choose this if...

You want a perfectly sized (and priced) vacuum cleaner that’s ideal for couples and small families alike with impressive features, like HEPA filtration and adjustable suction.

Best upright vacuum -> SEBO Automatic X7

SEBO Automatic X7

The SEBO Automatic X7 is exactly the sort of vacuum cleaner Monica Geller would put at the top of her Christmas wishlist. The rotating brushes inside the suction head easily sweep dust and debris from most surfaces. It's one of the more high-tech vacuums, with a computer control system that adjusts the brush height automatically depending on your surface. The X7 is also a better communicator than other household members, telling you when the bag's full with its indicator alert.

The SEBO X7 has a 10 metre cable, and top-level S-class filtration exclusive to SEBO. S-class filtration is comparable to HEPA filtration, removing 99.9% of particles bigger than 0.3 microns. This makes the X7 a great pick for allergy and asthma sufferers. This vacuum is only 31cm wide, and will fit easily in the laundry cupboard or under the stairs. On top of this, there's an integrated wand with a telescopic tube for ceilings and hard-to-reach spots.

Aussies are stoked with the SEBO Automatic X7. One reviewer on ProductReview.com.au says that it's so light, it 'almost vacuums by itself' with a 'self-propelled' feeling. While this was the only review for the X7, the SEBO X-series vacuums score an impressive 5 stars overall from more than 15 reviews. In short, it's one of the best upright vacuums the Australian dollar can buy. The only downside is the $800 price tag. 

Choose this if...

You want one of the best vacuum cleaners on the Australian market thanks to its clever computer system and you’re happy to pay for it.

Best stick vacuum -> Dyson V8 Animal Extra

Dyson V8 Animal Extra

The people have spoken. The most popular stick vacuum in Australia right now is the Dyson V8 Animal Extra. Well, according to ProductReview.com.au anyway where it gets almost 4.5 stars from well over 300 reviews. It’s also an award winner 2017, 2018 and 2019. Phew.

Look, this is technically for the Animal not the Animal Extra. But having dug into them, they’re basically the same machine just with a different name. Still with us? Good. Let’s dive into why Aussies love the Dyson V8 Animal Extra.

For starters, there’s the powerful motor that spins at up to 110,000rpm to create great suction. Loads of reviewers rave about its power. It also boasts 2 power modes. The MAX mode gives you extra power for cleaning up those stubborn messes. 

It has a pretty decent runtime, up to 40 minutes, and converts easily into a handheld. Which means you can use it in the car / on the stairs / sofa, etc. It comes with 5 tools: a combo tool (to switch between surfaces), a crevice tool, a mini motorised brush, a soft dusting brush (finally clean your computer keyboard!) and a low reach adapter. This clever tool changes the wand angle up to 90 degrees so it can bend low but you don’t have to. 

When it’s time to empty it, you don’t have to get your hands dirty. Pull the button and it releases the dirt into the bin. It comes with a docking station that hangs on the wall so you can show the world you own a Dyson. It takes 5 hours to change and weighs just 2.61kg.

It’s been reviewed by CHOICE and comes in around $799. It also has a 2-year warranty and a 45-day money back guarantee (only if you buy direct from Dyson).

Choose this if...

You want a 2-in-1 stick vacuum that easily converts to a handheld and comes with 5 cleaning tools, a 40-minute runtime and a 5-hour charge time.

Best handheld vacuum -> BLACK+DECKER 21.6Wh Lithium-ion Dustbuster Cyclone

BLACK+DECKER 21.6Wh Lithium-ion Dustbuster Cyclone

If there's one thing BLACK+DECKER does well, it's busting dust. This 21.6Wh Lithium-ion with Cyclonic Action is no exception, and it's popular with Aussies for its sensible design, solid power, and great price. It scored nearly 4 stars from 30+ reviews on ProductReview.com.au, with a removable, washable filter to keep the sustainably-minded happy. Our only major complaint is that it doesn't have a replaceable battery.

The BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster Cyclone does have a clever brush attachment which you flip down to use on hard or delicate surfaces like timber flooring or curtains. This saves you having to rummage through the back of the laundry cupboard. The 'cyclonic action' part of this dustbuster also spits dust away from the filter, which keeps the suction going strong. We like that you can see into the back of this handheld vacuum, so you know when it's time to empty it.

Reviews show that this BLACK+DECKER dustbuster does the whole car in one go, but some reviewers said their batteries died completely after a couple of years of use. The extendable nozzle was a hit with Aussies, who like how easy it is to clean the filter and barrel, and this lightweight model also boasts an 'Intelligent Boost' mode for those heavier-duty jobs. 

Choose this if...

You want a well-priced handheld vac that comes with a flip-down brush attachment and extendable nozzle, making it great for hardwood floors and car seats, plus an intelligent boost setting for extra oomph.

Best robot vacuum -> Eufy RoboVac 11S

Eufy RoboVac 11S

The Eufy RoboVac 11S is proof that you don’t need to spend a fortune to get a robot vacuum. It comes in around $400. Which you might think means you compromise on features. Although it doesn’t have an app or virtual walls, it’s not lacking much else. In fact, it’s packing a lot in.

Let’s start with its powerful 1,300Pa of suction to help clean all your surfaces. It also has 3 filters to help remove all nasties. Thanks to its large wheels, it can move easily over different surfaces, from carpets to hard floors. But it won’t roll down your stairs - it’s got stair detection to avoid any costly falls. 

It has a large dustbox (0.6L) so you won’t be constantly emptying it. It has auto return to charger so it won’t ever stop dead in the middle of its clean. It takes 5-6 hours to charge. This gives you up to 100 minutes runtime. 

It offers 4 cleaning modes (auto, spot, edge and single room) and pre-set vacuuming times and days. So, you can set it to clean while you’re not home. Plus, it has smart BoostIQ Technology which automatically boosts suction power within 1.5 seconds when it needs to go a bit harder.

It boasts an infrared sensor to help it avoid banging into stuff and an anti-scratch toughened glass cover to keep it looking sharp.

We love its super slim design. It’s 7.24cm tall which means it can easily get under your furniture. We’re not alone in being fans. It’s recommended by the New York Times, USA Today and Consumer Reports (the US equivalent of CHOICE). The Eufy RoboVac 11 is on ProductReview.com.au where it gets a whopping 5 stars from a handful of reviews. The 11S isn’t but the models are very similar. It’s also been reviewed by CHOICE.

Choose this if...

You want a robot vacuum but you don’t want to splurge.

How we picked

Friends, we cheated a bit. Because we’ve already done multiple vacuum guides (covering stick, handheld, pet, barrel and upright and robot vacuums), we were able to pull our top picks from there. This means that these vacuums are truly Australia’s best vacuums and the ones that really impressed us. 

Every one of our picks was based on hours of research which included checking CHOICE, Australia’s biggest consumer advocacy group. This let us know which vacuums performed best in a test environment. We also swung by ProductReview.com.au, to see which vacuums Aussies rate. Finally, we did some virtual window shopping to find the vacuums with the best crowd-pleasing features.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of vacuum cleaner should I buy?

It depends on the size of your home and what you’re planning on cleaning. Your options are:

Barrel and upright vacuums

These are the best types of vacuums for thoroughly cleaning large areas, especially carpet. Barrel vacuums (which you pull behind you) are great for awkward areas (like stairs and cars). Upright vacuums are ideal for large areas of carpet because they’re normally packing good power heads. 

Choose a barrel or upright:

  • For homes of all sizes, although medium to large homes are particularly well suited.
  • For picking up pet hair.
  • For all floor types.
  • If you’ve got space to store them, they can be bulky.

Stick vacuums

Stick vacuums are great for quick clean-ups and spot cleaning. They’re ideal for hard floors, less ideal for carpets. If you’ve got carpets, they work best in combo with a barrel or upright for a more thorough carpet clean.

Choose a stick vacuum:

  • If you want quick, convenient clean-ups rather than thorough ones.
  • For picking up pet hair.
  • For mainly hard floors.
  • If you’re ok with short runtimes (usually a max. of 30 mins).
  • For easy storage (they normally come with a stand or mount).

Handheld vacuums

For cleaning cars and spills, handheld vacuums are brilliant. They’re usually powerful enough to tackle quick clean-ups on carpets and hard floors.

Choose a handheld vacuum:

  • For cleaning your car and spot cleaning.
  • For picking up pet hair.
  • For all floor types (spot cleaning only).
  • If you want quick cleaning only (the runtime is usually around 15 mins).
  • For easy storage (they normally come with a stand or mount).

Robot vacuums

If you hate vacuuming or have mobility issues, robot vacuums are a good choice. They’re better on hard floors than carpet and although they won’t give your floors a deep clean, they should keep them free of fluff and dust. Combine them with a barrel or upright for more thorough cleaning.

Choose a robot vacuum:

  • For hands-off vacuuming.
  • For hard floors.
  • If you want to schedule cleaning, like when you’re not home.
  • For easy storage (they’re tiny).
  • For the novelty value of having a robot in your home. 

Which type of vacuum has the strongest suction?

When it comes to vacuuming, it’s not just about how well your vacuum sucks. It’s also got to be lightweight and easy to move around, especially on carpet. If you choose a vacuum that’s well-reviewed for suction, you might find it actually sucks too hard. Which means it’ll get stuck on carpets and curtains, requiring plenty of tugging to free it.

Vacuums that come with a power head, like a barrel or upright, tend to have a bit more grunt. So do vacuums that use electricity from the power-point (i.e. corded) rather than being battery-powered.

Which is better, a bagged or a bagless vacuum cleaner?

A bagged vacuum cleaner is old school and costs more because of the ongoing cost of bags, right? Not quite. Bagged and bagless vacuums both have their good and not-so-good bits.

Bagged vacuums are good because:

  • They can be less messy to empty as they normally have sliders to stop dust spilling out.
  • You can usually put the whole, full bag straight into the bin, keeping it sealed inside which can be good for allergy sufferers.
  • Changing the bag helps you refresh a big part of the filter system.
  • Bags are normally bigger than the dust bin on a bagless, which means less emptying.

Bagged vacuums are not-so-good because:

  • There’s an ongoing cost of bags.
  • You always need to be organised and have bags on hand.
  • The bags aren’t always compostable.

In comparison, bagless vacuums are good because:

  • You can easily see anything you’ve accidentally sucked up, like your kid’s favourite building bricks.
  • There are less ongoing costs because you don’t need to keep buying bags.

Bagless vacuums are not-so-good because:

  • They can create a cloud of dust when you’re emptying them, letting dust and allergens back into your home.
  • You normally need to clean or replace the main filter regularly, a sneaky hidden cost.

Do I need a HEPA filter?

A HEPA filter is the gold standard for cleaning. It stands for high efficiency particulate air. Although there are different standards around the world, most HEPA filters have to trap at least 99.97% of dirt, down to a tiny 0.3 microns in size. This is dirt you can’t see - like dust mite droppings, pollen, mould, pet dander and tobacco particles.

In comparison, non-HEPA filters trap around 96% of dirt. That’s almost 4% different between them. This might not seem huge but is a big deal if you have breathing issues (like asthma) or allergies.

If you have asthma or allergies, although a HEPA filter can be helpful, it won’t alone solve these issues. You’ll need to combine a HEPA filter with regular emptying of the vac’s dustbin or bag, plus vacuum other places than your floors and rugs. Like your curtains and furniture.

Oh, and European manufacturers sometimes use the term S-class, rather than HEPA. This is a different, but very similar, rating system. So S-class filtration is basically the same as HEPA.

Corded vs cordless vacuum cleaners, which is best?

Traditional vacuums, like barrels and uprights, have cords and run off main power. These days, there’s a growing trend towards cordless vacs, like stick and handhelds, which are battery-powered. Which is best depends on what you’re going to use them for.

Corded vacuums tend to:

  • Be more powerful and better at picking up dust than cordless vacs, especially on carpet.
  • Have bigger dustbins / bags, so you’ll empty them less often.
  • Be better at picking up pet hair.
  • Be more affordable.
  • Never run out of juice, thanks to being plugged in.

In comparison, cordless vacuums:

  • Are easier to use - they tend to be lightweight and easy to hold and move around.
  • Can be used to clean anywhere, including the car, as you’re not limited by a cord.
  • Are great for spot cleaning and quick pick-ups - they’re much easier to get out than lugging out a heavy corded vac.
  • Are easy to store because they’re compact.
  • Run out of juice quickly, with short runtimes (around 15-30 mins).
References +