The best upright vacuum cleaners

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6 of the best upright vacuum cleaners to buy

Upright vacuum cleaners are powerful, easy to store and simple to use, as you push the entire unit around to clean. There’s a lot of variety out there, so finding the right model isn’t as easy as you might think. David Ludlow, Editor of Expert Reviews rounds up 6 of the best.
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Miele S7260 Cat & Dog

Miele S7260 Cat & Dog

eBay loves: Great looks, huge suction power, large capacity
Watch out for: A little cumbersome to manoeuvre 
RRP: £260

With its shiny red exterior, the Miele S7260 Cat & Dog vacuum cleaner looks pleasingly retro. Even so, it’s a powerful and modern cleaner designed — as the name says — for picking up fur and fluff from pets. It has a turbo nozzle with rotating brushes, designed to make picking up fur easier. It’s a powerful vacuum cleaner, too, which should help pick up even more dirt.
As with all Miele vacuum cleaners, this one requires a bag. With a whopping 6-litre capacity, this isn’t a cleaner that you’ll have to empty very often. Changing bags shouldn’t be too expensive, either, with refills costing £10 for a pack of four bags, including motor and air filters. It’s a little cumbersome to push around, but for the suction power and large capacity it’s a great choice for a lot of people.
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Panasonic MC-UL426 Eco Max

Panasonic MC-UL426 Eco Max

eBay loves: Great price, great range of accessories
Watch out for: Doesn’t hold a lot of dust
RRP: £160

The Panasonic MC-UL426 Eco Max is a powerful and efficient vacuum cleaner with a rating of 310 air watts. Its wider-than-average head means you can clean a room with fewer swipes than other cleaners, making it a quick machine to vacuum with. A detachable hose makes it easy to get those hard to reach areas, and Panasonic provides crevice and dusting nozzles, as well as a mini turbine with rotating brushes for carpet. This gives you plenty of flexibility when it comes to cleaning your home.
With a dust bin of just 1.7 litres, this vacuum cleaner will need emptying more regularly than other models. Still, at this price, you may find this forgiveable, as this is an otherwise great vacuum cleaner.
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Dyson DC-50 Animal

Dyson DC-50 Animal

eBay loves: Great size, easy to manoeuvre, great performance
Watch out for: Small capacity
RRP: £280

The DC-50 Animal is the baby of Dyson’s range and one of the smallest upright vacuum cleaners you can buy. This makes it easy to store and a good choice for anyone with a small flat to clean. Despite its small size, it doesn’t have small performance, with Dyson’s powerful suction helping you keep your home clean. The ‘Animal’ part of the name refers to the tangle-free turbine tool, which uses rotating brushes to pick up all hair from your carpets. With the ball at the front, this is a vacuum cleaner that’s easy to manoeuvre around objects. The one issue about this cleaner’s size is that it only holds 0.8 litres of dust, so you’ll need to empty it frequently.
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Dyson DC-41 Animal

Dyson DC-41 Animal

eBay loves: Easy to manoeuvre, huge capacity, lots of power
Watch out for: Expensive
RRP: £330

If you want the best performance and the cleanest home, the Dyson DC-41 Animal is the vacuum cleaner for you. This impressive cleaner has a lot of suction, making sure that every bit of dust is collected. While it may be large, the ball design makes it easy to move around any object, making this cleaner feel smaller than it really is. As with the DC-50 , the ‘Animal’ name refers to the tangle-free turbine, which uses spinning brushes to pick up all hair from your carpets. An additional crevice brush and stair tool can be used with the hose that pulls out from the cleaner.
With a whopping 2.1-litre capacity, this cleaner won’t have to be emptied too often. Only the price is likely to put some people off.
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Vax U91-MA-P Air Pet Multicyclonic

Vax U91-MA-P Air Pet Multicyclonic

eBay loves: Small size, HEPA filter
Watch out for: Small dust capacity
RRP: £150

The Vax U91-MA-P Air Pet is a very light vacuum cleaner, making it easy to carry around. Despite the light weight, it’s still powerful, with plenty of suction on tap to help keep your house clean. A ’pet’ model, Vax ships it with a turbo tool, which uses rotating brushes to collect and pick up hair from carpets. In addition, you get a crevice nozzle and upholstery brush that attach to the removable hose for up-close cleaning. For those with allergies, the HEPA filter will help protect you. The low weight is partly countered by the small dust capacity of just 1.5 litres. For the price, though, there’s very little to complain about.
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Vax U86-PF-P

Vax U86-PF-P

eBay loves: Powerful, big dust bin
Watch out for: A little clumsy to manoeuvre

If you’re looking for performance and capacity, look no further than the Vax U86-PF-P. With a massive 2.5-litre bin, this is one vacuum cleaner that you won’t have to empty very often. With one of the highest air watt ratings that we’ve seen, this is one of the more powerful vacuum cleaners that you can buy, further helping to pick up dust. Vax ships this model with a pet brush for picking up fur, plus a crevice and all-purpose brush for finer cleaning. With a low price, this vacuum cleaner is a bit of a bargain. It is a little ungainly and isn’t the easiest cleaner to manoeuvre, though.

Comparison table

Manufacturer
Miele
Panasonic
Dyson
Dyson
Vax
Vax
Model
S7260 Cat & Dog
MC-UL426 Eco Max
DC-50 Animal
DC-41 Animal
U91-MA-P
Air Pet Multi-cyclonic
Vax U86-PF-P
Price
£260 £160 £280 £330 £150 £110
Size
430 x 378 x 349mm
365 x  1090 x 350mm
1065 x 364 x 311mm
1078 x 391 x 340mm
1002 x
305 x
300mm
1007 x 280 x 250mm
Air Watts
Not disclosed
Not disclosed
140AW
255AW
200AW
240AW
Bagless
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Dust capacity
6L
1.7L
0.8L
2.1L
1.5L
2.5L
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