You know what sucks? A good vacuum. And, finding one that's right for your everyday needs sucks too, especially since there are so many choices across so many different price points.
The main criteria to look for, though, is how easy a vacuum cleaner is to handle and how well it performs on any surface. Even with buying criteria narrowed down to two, it's a hard choice to make. Do you get an upright or a handstick? Should you opt for a cordless or a corded vacuum cleaner? Heck, would a robot vacuum just take care of it all?
A lot also depends on what kind of floors you have at home, whether you need to clean up after kids and pets, and what size home you live in.
Your choice of vacuum cleaner should include features and attachments you're going to need the most, it should be easy to maintain as well, and offer excellent bang for your buck.
So we've handpicked some top vacuum cleaners currently available in Australia, including lightweight cordless models, autonomous robot vacuums and the traditional barrel ones, but big brands and the little ones, across different budgets.
They all suck, but in the best possible way.
Best vacuum cleaners in Australia at a glance
1. Dyson V15 Detect
2. Miele Blizzard CX1 Excellence
3. LG CordZero A9 Kompressor (A9K Aqua)
4. Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI
5. Dyson V8 Animal
6. iRobot Roomba i7
7. Dyson Cinetic Big Ball
8. Vax Blade 2 Max 40V
9. Miele Triflex HX1 Cat & Dog
Dyson's newest flagship floor cleaner is, beyond a doubt, one of the best vacuum cleaners we've tested. Not only is the improvement in suction power impressive, it's also adaptive. That means, when using the High Torque cleaning head, the V15 Detect can automatically increase suction when it detects a carpet or rug, and reverse back when it's back on a hard floor.
Then there's the headline feature of the laser light on the redesigned Slim Fluffy tool for hard floors. Sure, it's a little gimmicky and you can still get a good clean without really using it, but watching it illuminate dust, dirt and hair strands on a floor is… well, a little mesmerising. It's great to watch it all get sucked up, something you normally wouldn't be able to see with the naked eye.
And if you want more proof the vacuum cleaner is a good sucker, then the built-in piezo sensor 'listens' to the particles going through the handstick and gives you a graphical representation of what's getting pulled in.
Needless to say it's truly is an engineering marvel and definitely worth the upgrade… if you can afford it. The V15 Detect is the most expensive Dyson yet.
Read our full Dyson V15 Detect review
There are plenty of corded vacuum cleaners available on the market that a lot cheaper than the Blizzard CX1 Excellence but you'll be hard pressed to find one as powerful. It employs what Miele calls Vortex Technlogy wherein air moving at speeds of over 100kph ensure it sucks up fine dust or hair that's embedded deep within carpet fibres.
That kind of power is plenty for old, dirty carpets and for a household with pets. And with three tools shipping with the vacuum – and stored on the body of the CX1 Excellence for easy reach – you can clean different surfaces and get into every nook and cranny. You can even reach for the cobwebs on the ceiling with the telescope tube.
With a cord of 6.5m in length, which retracts with a single push of a button (no, you don't need to keep it pressed down), you get a full reach of up to 10m. The wheels move 360 degrees and it can even be stood upright if necessary.
Emptying the large bin is also easy, and you won't need to touch the lid to clean it out either. There's a discreet little button which will release the lid – you will have to push it close though and, if you're finicky, you can wash it out completely.
And where most vacuum cleaners require you to change the HEPA filter after a certain duration to ensure maximum efficiency, the CX1 Excellence has an AirClean filter that lasts a lifetime. There's also a CleanStream fine dust filter that cleans itself automatically, or you can do it yourself with just a press of a button.
The design is also quite sleek. It looks like a futuristic machine, with sharp angles on the sides. And, for the most part, it's possible to snag one for less than its AU$649 RRP from major retailers.
It's admittedly hard to recommend a vacuum cleaner that costs you well over a grand, but when you factor in the price of the competition and how many more features this LG offers over a Dyson, it makes it well worth the investment.
The A9 Kompressor (specifically the A9K Aqua model) is not only a powerful vacuum, it's also a pretty effective mop as well. In fact, you can do both at once if you want and save time. And don't be fooled by its regular-sized 0.44L bin. It can fit 2.4 times more dust and debris in there thanks to a compressor (which gives the range of vacuums its name).
With two batteries in the box – each with 60-minutes of fade-free power – you can clean a large family home in one go. Better yet, while you're using the machine with one battery, you can charge the other. There's also no need to wall mount the handstick as its charging dock is free-standing, making it great for renters.
The only downside to the LG is is uneven weight distribution that makes it feel heavier than it is.
Read our full LG CordZero A9 Kompressor review
The main reason to get yourself a robot vacuum cleaner is so you can either put your feet up and get something else to do all the hard work for you, or so you get more time to do more important things – or perhaps both. And that's exactly what the T8 will do, and do way better than most other robot vacuum cleaners.
There’s not much we can fault with this little droid: it vacuums, it mops – although mopping isn't as good as you may like – can be controlled via voice assistants, and can also double up a basic security device.
There's a camera onboard the T8 which allows the bot to 'see' the obstacles in its path. When it's not cleaning, that camera will provide a live feed of where the T8 is going in what Ecovacs has labelled its 'patrol mode'. There's also a little speaker onboard that allows you to send messages to people in other rooms, or look in on your pets at home while you're away.
It's truly something different, but all this innovation doesn't come cheap. Yet, with three suction modes, the T8 is powerful enough to keep carpets clean as well, and it automatically knows not to go on rugs if the mopping plate is installed.
It maps really quick and its obstacle avoidance is best-in-class, as is its battery life. You'll get up to three hours of runtime per charge, and that's enough to clean a large home once over, or a smaller space a couple of times in a row.
With so much going for it, the Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI is definitely worth the investment, particularly when you realise you get so much more time for yourself.
Read our full Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI review
With the arrival of the new Dyson V15 Detect and the V12 Detect Slim models, the older V7 and V8 will slowly start fading away into obscurity. After all, they can't match what the newer models do. And that brings us to the Dyson Cyclone V10.
It's not the midrange model in Dyson's stick vacuum arsenal and is often discounted, so it's possible to suck it up for a lower price than its current RRP. So you'll be getting a lot more bang for your buck here.
It's the first Dyson cordless to offer a maximum of 60 minutes fade-free battery life – provided you're on the lowest suction mode and using a non-motorised attachment – and all those marvellous innovations that we're seeing carried forward to the V11 and V15 ranges.
The V10 introduced us to the 0.76L bin canister, that's far better than the 0.54L bin in the V8 models. It also proved to us that cordless vacuum cleaners are more than capable of competing with traditional corded ones, like the Miele listed above.
Even the motor Dyson used in the V7s and V8s underwent a massive upgrade, with the V10 digital motor capable of an impressive 125,000 rpm (or 2,000 revolutions per second) as compared to the 108,000 rpm on the older handsticks. That means better far superior suction, even on the lowest setting – 30% more than the V8 to be precise.
It's also easy to handle while cleaning ceilings, and quickly converts into a smaller handheld option for cleaning cars or furniture upholstery.
Read our full Dyson Cyclone V10 review
iRobot is arguably the most popular robot vacuum brand in the world. Most people would have heard about a Roomba at some time, and they're getting smarter by the iteration. The i7 range has two models – both are identical in every way, with the sole exception of a self-emptying base available with the i7+ model.
The Roomba i7, even when bought on its own, is frightfully expensive, yet we can't leave it out of this round-up. It's got one of the smartest navigation systems on a robot vacuum and it cleans a lot quicker than most advanced models. It's perhaps the only robovac that uploads maps of individual rooms in a house to iRobot's servers. This smart map can take a few tries to complete but once done, you can tell the Roomba to clean any specific room via the app.
If you've got smart speakers with with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa, then you'll be able to control the i7 with a simple voice command. And, if you can spare the coin for purchasing the Clean Base (which is essentially the i7+ model), then you won't even need to worry about emptying the i7's bin. Only when the Clean Base is full – perhaps once a month – you'll need to empty it. However, the Clean Base uses bags which become an additional ongoing cost.
Read our full iRobot Roomba i7+ review
There's no question that Dyson's manoeuvrable and endlessly convenient stick vacuums are incredible, sporting powerful suction and a modular design that allows for a number of area-specific attachments – all without having to worry about pesky cables getting in the way. However, cordless vacuums do have their caveats.
Getting a limited amount of vacuum time from a battery that takes hours to charge can be extremely frustrating, and there are times when you may require a more powerful and heavy-duty vacuum solution. Cordless models are often pretty darn expensive, too.
If you share these concerns, Dyson's Cinetic Big Ball vacuum may be a terrific alternative, offering the same quality cleaning experience that the company's vacuums are known for, while avoiding all the usual annoyances that make inspire people to choose a cord-free option.
Most vacuums will tip over as they're dragged along the floor — not the Cinetic Big Ball, with its ball-shaped design that has been perfectly weighted to roll back into place whenever it falls down — it's a neat example of Dyson's knack for finding solutions to problems that have plagued these kinds of products for decades.
Another advantage over cordless vacuums: its suction power leaves them in the dust — literally. At 250 air watts, the Cinetic Big Ball is even more powerful than the new Dyson Cyclone V10, which offers around 150 air watts of suction.
Taking into consideration that you can now pick up a Dyson Cinetic Big Ball for under $500, and what you have is a highly-recommended alternative to Dyson's pricier cord-free options.
Read our full Dyson Cinetic Big Ball review
Once the leading name in vacuums, Vax is still going strong today and its Blade 2 Max 40V vacuum more than proves it. Easy to use, and delivering excellent results on different floor types, the cordless Vax Blade 2 Max 40V offers powerful suction and long run-time for a great price.
It has bright lights on the floor head, so you won’t miss any dirt, and a good-sized bin for a cordless machine too, meaning fewer bin-emptying interruptions when cleaning. The Blade 2 Max is easy to use, but it's let down by how heavy it feels in the hand – your arm may not be able to hold out for as long as the battery.
The Blade 2 Max delivers great cleaning results on different floor types, and it's no slouch when it comes to tackling pet hair; however, it's far from the lightest-feeling or quietest cordless cleaner out there.
There's no denying Miele is one of our favourite vacuum cleaner brands, with plenty of powerful suckers that we've featured at top spot on this list. They've all been the traditional barrel vacuums, but the German brand finally has a cordless handstick as well.
The Triflex HX1 series handsticks convert easily from a cordless stick cleaner to a handheld to an upright, and can handle any job you throw at it – even dry pet food. There are three power settings to choose from and you'll get up to 60 minutes of run-time between charges. While the vacuum cleaner only ships with a single battery, additional batteries are available to purchase separately, and that could give you the same advantage as the LG A9 listed higher in this list.
That said, there are plenty of tools in the box, so you'll be able to get to any nook and cranny at home, and handle any surface – floors, upholstery, carpet, no problem. There's even an LED light on the main motorised cleaning head to help you spot dirt in those dark, nasty corners. This cleaning head also features floor sensors, so it automatically adjusts suction power when it detects different surfaces.
It does all this without being too noisy. Compared to several other cordless vacuums, the Miele Triflex HX1 is relatively quiet, even at its highest setting.
Read our full Miele Triflex HX1 Cat & Dog review