1. Expert reviews

Vacuum cleaner

Elina Blom

Updated June 29, 2021

Vacuum cleaner

1. Electrolux Pure D8.2 Silence - BEST CHOICE VACUUM CLEANER

Extremely quiet but still very good cleaning results

Noise levels: 58 dB (manufacturer's specification), 60.1 (measured) Weight inc. accessories: 7 kg Action radius: 12 m Parking function: Rear Bag change indicator: Yes Bag volume: 3.5 L Accessories: 2 floor nozzles, 3 smaller nozzles Telescopic handle: Yes Miscellaneous: 55% recycled material

Electrolux Pure D8.2

The Electrolux Pure D8.2 Silence is one of the best, quietest vacuum cleaners we’ve ever tested. It’s so quiet that we were worried about performance, but those concerns quickly turned out to be unjustified. The Pure D8.2 Silence has a very good suction capacity and the floor nozzle picks up debris very well from all directions. At the same time, it doesn’t suck itself onto the floor like our previous test winner. So it’s very easy to move back and forth across the floor.

We found it useful that you can open the vacuum to get at the bag without having to disconnect the hose. We also liked the compact, but simultaneously very user-friendly design. On top of the machine body are two nicely integrated buttons, one for on/off and one for reeling in the power cable. The vacuum cleaner is a premium model, and is also has a sustainable aspect, as it’s made from 55% recycled material.

The vacuum also has a very good range. We could hoover almost the entire ground floor without having to unplug the vacuum and change sockets – which is quite unusual for this price class. Another thing we liked was the folding carrying handle that made it easy to lift the vacuum cleaner.

Unfortunately, there are only brackets for the hose on the back and front. We’d have liked to see them on the sides too.

The vacuum comes with five different nozzles, two vacuum cleaner bags and a bracket – a good set of accessories considering the price.

Modern technology

The Electrolux Pure D8.2 Silence is very quiet – whether at low or high suction power. There are three strength modes, one for rugs, one for floors and one for just being very quiet. You can also set it in a smart mode where it’s meant to adjust the suction power. This doesn’t actually work very well as it reacts strangely at level differences, giving an uneven cleaning result, and even shutting off the power quite often. But if you use it in normal mode, it works really well, even at level differences such as thresholds and tiles.

The whole construction feels well designed. For example, you can turn the vacuum cleaner on from the handle, and set the suction power there as well. In addition to that, there are also controls on the floor nozzle to allow for further fine-tuning.

It’s also very easy to extend the tube or to change the bag or nozzle. There could have been a bit more power in the cable winder to reel in the power cable, because sometimes you have to help it a little. And the vacuum cleaner bag is on the small side, as a consequence of the compact design.

Overall this vacuum cleaner is ideal for anyone looking for an affordable, very quiet vacuum where you don’t have to compromise on user-friendliness or performance.

Very good suctiondigital buttons on handles & machine bodyvery quietcompact sizelong power cable
Slightly weak when reeling in the power cablesmall bag

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2. Dyson V11 Absolute - BEST PREMIUM CHOICE

Versatile vacuum cleaner with tons of power

Dimensions (L): 1286 mm Dimensions (W): 250 mm Dimensions (H): 261 mm Container volume: 0.76 Suction power: 220 (boost) Cyclone technology: Radial (two layers of cyclones) Nozzles: Mini soft dusting brush, high torque cleaner head, stubborn dirt brush, combination tool, crevice tool, mini motorised tool Weight: 3 kg Guarantee: 2 years Miscellaneous: 9 accessories

Dyson V11 Absolute

In many ways, the Dyson V11 Absolute is a replacement for the traditional vacuum cleaner, thanks to a combination of maximised suction and lots of nozzles. The very best traditional vacuum cleaners are still a little better, but if your home isn't more than normally messy, the V11 is perfectly adequate. It also has the advantage that you don't have to struggle with a lead, and that you can also use it as a hand-held vacuum cleaner to clean your car or worktops.

It comes with many different nozzles, together with a wall bracket. Unfortunately the manual doesn’t include an explanation of how you're intended to use the different nozzles, but it's still relatively easy to work this out yourself.

The V11 is generally extremely user friendly. It's easy to empty, the click-in function means you can change the nozzles quickly, and cleaning the filter is convenient.

Other than a slightly more powerful battery, what distinguishes the V11 from its predecessors is that it comes with a display. Here you can see how much battery power you have left and the suction setting it's selected. The vacuum cleaner adapts the suction to the surface being cleaned. This works well on all types of surface except where there are differences in level. If you have a carpet that isn’t all at one level, or vacuum it so that part of the nozzle overlaps the edge, the vacuum cleaner doesn't really understand what setting it should use.

Efficient construction

The Dyson V11 Absolute sits nicely in your hand and is well balanced. You won’t find it an effort to vacuum for long periods. Although we'd have liked a way to lock the power button. As it stands, you have to keep the button pressed in yourself the entire time you use it.

The vacuum cleaner packs the dirt well into the container, which holds a lot. This means you don't need to empty it particularly often.

One disadvantage is that you can't put the V11 down in a convenient way. For example, if you need to pick something up from the floor or move something, you have to lie the vacuum cleaner down because it's prone to toppling over. Because it's made of hard plastic and has a display, it’s likely to get damaged if this happens. It would have been useful to be able to lock it in the upright position so it wouldn’t slide away over the floor.

When you've finished using it, you hang the vacuum cleaner up on the wall bracket. The battery indicator flashes blue while it's charging, and is visible from a distance.

The battery lasts for about 50 minutes, which is really good given how powerful the vacuum cleaner is. The battery can be replaced, so you can buy an extra one to swap it with. But this isn't really necessary unless you have a very large home.

The Dyson V11 Absolute is most suitable for anyone seeking a versatile, easy-to-use and competent vacuum cleaner. The design and lack of cable make it versatile, while it's also strong and comes with plenty of accessories.

Very good suctionLarge containerPacks dirt into the container wellEasy to useIncludes several nozzles plus wall bracketReplaceable battery
No power button lockA bit wobbly when you put it down

3. Dyson Big Ball

Suction power: 160 AW Energy efficiency: Class A Weight incl. accessories: 8.06 kg Action radius: 9.66 m Parking function: Rear Bag change indicator: Not applicable, bagless Bag volume: Not applicable, bagless Accessories: 3-in-1 nozzle, stored inside the vacuum cleaner Telescopic handle: Yes

Dyson Big Ball Multifloor 2

With its unique appearance and the fact that it doesn’t need a vacuum cleaner bag, the Dyson Big Ball turns heads in the vacuum world. Just like the manufacturer's stick vacuum cleaner models, the debris collects directly in the dust container and you empty it by detaching the container from the vacuum cleaner body and dropping the dirt into your litter bin. It’s an economical alternative to regularly emptying and buying new vacuum cleaner bags, but can release a little dust when you empty the container into the bin.

The lid of the dust container is a bit stiff to open, but very easy to close. The container could have been a good bit bigger given that you move the vacuum cleaner around by rolling it, so weight isn’t as important as in an equivalent hand-held vacuum cleaner.

We’ve already mentioned how it stands out from the crowd in terms of appearance. Because the vacuum cleaner body is round. This means it doesn’t tip upside down when you pull it around but just rocks and then stands itself back up again. Initially, the vacuum feels odd because it swings back and forth over the slightest obstacle, but you soon get used to that and stop worrying about it.

The Big Ball comes with many accessories and nozzles. It also has a flexible telescopic tube and clearly colour-marked buttons for the click-in nozzles. So user-friendliness levels are very high. However, it does have a fairly short cord and therefore not a particularly good radius of action.

Not a powerhouse, but a good guarantee

Unfortunately, the vacuum cleaner falls down when it comes to performance. On the one hand it doesn’t have much suction power on carpets, and simply fails to get them as clean as we’d expect from a vacuum cleaner in this price class. It also has a tendency to push the dirt around instead of hoovering it up. The solution to this is to lift the nozzle at the back, in dirtier areas, to make sure you get everything up. But we’d expect better performance from a traditional vacuum cleaner.

On the other hand, the guarantee period of 5 years is really good. The vacuum cleaner is also filterless. Instead it uses cyclone technology – which means you don’t need to change any filters.

If you don’t have pets, and if you vacuum regularly so your home doesn’t get particularly dirty, then there are clear advantages in not using vacuum cleaner bags. You’ll also appreciate the bundle of accessories that comes with this model.

Easy to useclear designlots of functions baglesslong guarantee
Poor performancesmall dust container

4. Philips 8000 Series Aqua XC8149/01

Aimed at those who want to mop and vacuum at the same time

Dimensions (L): 1170 mm Dimensions (W): 260 mm Dimensions (H): 220 mm Container volume: 0.6 l Air flow: 1100 l/min Cyclone technology: Radial (3-layer cyclones) Measured battery life: 38 min (medium power), 32 min (turbo mode) Charging time: 5 h Measured noise level: 79.9 dB Nozzles: LED floor nozzle 360°, floor nozzle with mop functionality, water nozzle with cloth, motorised furniture nozzle, crevice nozzle, extension hose Weight: 2.7 kg Miscellaneous: Can mop and vacuum simultaneously

Philips SpeedPro Max Aqua 8000 XC8149/01

The Philips 8000 Series Aqua XC8149/01 is a stick vacuum cleaner with a combined mop function. A special floor nozzle allows you to easily attach a container with a cloth underneath, allowing you to mop and vacuum at the same time.

The mop function is the real highlight of this stick vacuum cleaner. The weight of the vacuum cleaner gives you good pressure on the floor, producing good mopping results. The container is also cleverly designed so it’s very easy to use. On top, for example, there is a pedal that you press with your foot to squeeze out more water if necessary. You can also easily remove the floor nozzle with the pedal to release the entire tank when you’re finished. You can then remove the cloth from the container and wash it clean

Not great performance

The actual vacuuming it does while it’s mopping isn’t all that great. The vacuum cleaner is quite weak, even if you run it on a turbo, which makes it struggle to pick up small bits of gravel and the like. If you’ve also moved it back and forth to mop the area, it won’t even pick up damp dust. So it’s best to do the vacuum cleaning without the mop first.

One nozzle that does produce good results is the hand nozzle for furniture. This will pull up dirt from carpets and furniture without damaging them. But there are models on the market that give an even better result for the same money. This model suffers a little on vacuuming overall.

Unfortunately, the performance doesn’t match the price. Even with the 360-degree nozzle, we don’t get the power and suction we have come to expect in this price class. It does an OK job, but dust that is a little way away doesn’t get picked up, and at thresholds and other level differences it isn’t able to collect up any accumulations of dirt. It’s also very noisy. However, we like the 360-degree nozzle with its built-in lighting, so you can see clearly when you’re vacuuming under furniture.

Stick vacuum cleaner with a long battery life

The battery life is very good. We clock the vacuum cleaner at almost 40 minutes of working time on the middle performance mode, and when we run it on turbo for more power it gives us 32 minutes. We would have liked to have seen even more of an increase in performance with turbo mode, which of course would have the effect of reducing the battery life still further, but this would have made the XC8149/01 vacuum cleaner more versatile and would perhaps even have meant that it could achieve better results from vacuuming during mopping.

The stated charging time of five hours is correct; we reached 80% after 4 hours and 5 minutes. The charger is held in place with a magnet.

Unfortunately, the vacuum cleaner has difficulty standing up on its own and tends to roll away. And of course, this disengages the charger. The Philips 8000 Series Aqua also feels rather heavy after you’ve been using it for a while, which becomes noticeable in your wrist, so it could be better balanced. The handle also becomes unusually warm, something we haven’t noticed on other vacuum cleaners.

This stick vacuum cleaner is suitable for those who are looking for a vacuum cleaner and mop combination. The design makes it a great complement to your normal vacuum cleaner. If the price had been a couple of hundred quid lower, or the performance better, it would be a must-have.

Easy-to-use designvery good mop functiongood battery lifelots of accessories
Very noisypoor cleaning result at level differences & cornersstruggles to stand up on its own

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