There is so much choice when buying a cylinder vacuum cleaner.

Bagless or traditional? Lightweight or heavy duty? Big investment or cheap and cheerful?

We’ve taken all those things into account when testing the best in the market, tackling a range of hard floors and carpet, upholstery and even the occasional car valeting.

Here’s our pick of the best picker-uppers – for those who like the versatility of a long wand that can reach coving and curtains and the suction power to tackle ground-in dirt.

Miele CX1 Cat and Dog Powerline: £294, John Lewis

If you’d pay good money to make vacuuming as pleasurable as possible, then this one is for you – especially if you’re a pet owner who’d appreciate the full size turbo head that comes included.

Attachments are jointed, and the wands are easily adjustable for all heights so twisting and turning around furniture is a breeze.

Rug, carpet, hard floor or upholstery settings are chosen via the control dial, but switching on and off or rewinding the power cord doesn’t require bending thanks to the chunky hand or foot controls.

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Bagged Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner: £59.99, John Lewis

If you don’t mind having to buy bags for your cylinder vacuum cleaner, then this John Lewis basic is a steal.

It’s good enough quality to compete with branded vacuums and costs considerably less than its 700W suction power would suggest.

Quiet and with a good range of attachments, we like the adjustable power setting for those switches from carpet to cushions.  

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Hoover Optimum Power: £88, Amazon

The 550W suction power on this bagless model combined with a special turbo brush attachment is a real godsend for those of us dealing with hairy cats and dogs shedding all over the sofa.

The bin is easy to empty, with a one-touch button that frees the bottom of the cylinder to easily empty nasties straight into the trash.

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Beko VCM 7180 Bagless Vacuum Cleaner: £69.99, Beko

This may not be the lightest vacuum we tested, coming in at nearly 6kg, but it has 800W of cleaning power to tackle the grimmest of floors.

It’s a well built machine that comes with a good range of attachments and an advanced HEPA13 filter, which seals almost every bit of dust in the machine until it’s time to empty the 2.8 litre capacity bin.

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Sebo Airbelt E1 Pet ePower Vacuum: £239, AO

As we hoovered our way around an eight-seater dining table after a party, the air belt feature of this model was a welcome element – as its padding means less noisy bashing against furniture.

The variable suction can be boosted to a whopping 1200W should you need it, but in normal mode it’s still more powerful than most machines here. Impressive.

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Dyson Big Ball Animal 2: £299.99, Dyson

Bottom line – no other vacuum can pick itself up when it topples. As you negotiate obstacles with the Dyson, there’s no need to set it upright, just keep on cleaning.

The articulated wand handle is great in that you tend to use your arm to direct the vacuum rather than having to get your back behind it.

A generous selection of pet-friendly accessories and easy emptying of the chamber score points too.

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AEG VX8-2-BM-P Bagged Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner: £149, AO

This is the quietest cylinder model we tested, but still has a strong motor – so it packs a nearly silent punch for late-night cleanups.

We liked the way the tools attach to the rear of the casing and the fact it has a turbo nozzle for tackling dog and cat hair on sofas or particularly grubby rugs, though the whine of rotating brushes does add to sound levels.

The telescopic wand slots on the main canister make for neat storage.

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Henry Compact HVR 160-11: £109, Amazon

It’s a vacuum that’s been made in the UK since 1981 and will undoubtedly be flashing that cheeky smile for years to come.

There’s a reason for that – his 620W motor just works without fuss. Henry started out as a favourite of cleaners and tradespeople everywhere as a rugged workhorse without the fancy extras.

For domestic purposes, his large 6-litre capacity bag, sturdy shell, range of attachments and generous 10-metre cord will make him a favourite member of your family.

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Amazon Basics: £37.99, Amazon

You can rely on Amazon Basics for good quality, reliable products at the right price. This bagless vacuum has a AAA energy efficiency rating for a greener clean and the filter can be run under the tap after use which is a bonus.

As well as the adjustable hard floor/carpet head, it comes complete with round brush, crevice nozzle and small upholstery cleaning head.

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Beldray Compact Vac Lite: £39.99, Robert Dyas

This is a great option if you’re in the market for a basic vacuum without gimmicks. It’s 700 watts with a 2-litre bagless compartment – so although compact and lightweight at only 3.5kg, it has the capacity to tackle a whole-of-house clean.

Where it is lacking is in its additional attachments, offering just a 2-in-1 brush and crevice tool so you’ll be disappointed if you want to tackle curtains and upholstery.

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The Verdict: Best cylinder vacuum cleaners

If you are of the “buy cheap, buy twice” mentality then you’ll appreciate how the Miele Cat and Dog CX1 PowerLine is a beautifully engineered appliance that will serve you well over the years.

However, the same could be said about Henry – and he retails at around a third of the price if you’re happy to settle for a bulkier, frills-free basic you’ll have to buy bags for.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.