The first upright vacuum cleaner was invented in 1908 by James Murray Spangler, a janitor in a department store in Ohio. Spangler, a sometime inventor, was asthmatic, which he suspected was connected to his job—specifically to the carpet sweeper he used. Mounting an electric fan motor onto his carpet sweeper, he added a soap box to collect the dust in and a broom handle to ‘steer’ it with, and the vacuum cleaner was born. Today’s models are hi-tech, compact and sleekly designed to not only leave your surfaces—and your stairs, crevices and corners—spotless, but to stash away discreetly afterwards too.
Suitable for hardwood and carpets, adaptable from upright to portable, this model separates and removes pet fur, preventing clogs. Built-in LEDs illuminate hidden dust. Shark
The humble hoover has come a long way from the makeshift soap box and broom stick of its origins, but both traditional upright vacuums and portable handheld models still work on the same principle: sucking the dust and dirt from floors and carpets into a bag or cylinder. Some now offer easy-empty functions, dispensing with the need to deal with a bag full of debris, while others boast anti-allergen seals which prevent the particles from re-entering the air and irritating those with allergies. Cordless vacuums offer convenience and liberation from plug points and wires, and many now run on rechargeable batteries—some offering over an hour of power on a few hours’ charge.
Flexible and Foldable
Powered by rechargeable batteries and featuring a Flexology wand, this vacuum bends under beds, tables and sofas for you. It transforms easily into a handheld cleaner and folds for compact storage. Shark
Pets and humans both shed a remarkable amount of hair, most of which ends up on the floor…and then subsequently clogged up in the bristles of the vacuum brush. Some models now offer anti hair-wrap technology, which boasts a bristle guard to separate and remove hair as you hoover, leaving the brush free of tangles. Some models also feature ‘headlights’ to help show where the dust and hair is lurking, in dark corners or under furniture.
Compact and Rechargeable
Weighing just 2.3kg and boasting a 45-minute run time, this functions with a wand and as a handheld portable, with an easy-empty bagless system and a handy wall mount. VYTRONIX
While upright vacuums are best for floors (carpet, hardwood and poured concrete), portable models are perfect for corners, crevices, curtains and stairs. An increasing number of models offer both functions, with removable sticks and wands and multi-way brush attachments. Some also now offer flexible wands, which bend to clean under low furniture, and fold up for easier, space-saving storage.