Which Are The Best Vacuum Cleaners For Allergy Sufferers?

picture of a little girl and her teddy bear both wearing makes to protect against airborne pollutants

When it comes to purchasing a vacuum cleaner, there are a lot of different features and design elements that you may look for. Some people prefer canisters over uprights, others may prefer the bagless design over units that use a bag for dirt collection, and you have people that need a vacuum that is specially designed for cleaning up after pets. These are all great things to consider, but for some people, allergies are the big concern.

If you, or anyone in your household, suffers from allergies, your vacuum might be one of the things that is contributing to your/their symptoms. For this reason, many people need to look for a vacuum that is designed with the concerns of an allergy sufferer in mind. In this guide, we will look into the issues relating to allergies and vacuuming, and we will recommend a few models that are designed to minimise the negative effects on air quality associated with vacuuming.


Vacuums and Allergies

The big issue with vacuuming and allergies is indoor air quality. Over time, things like dust (and the droppings of dust mites like the nasty little critters shown in the picture below), pet dander and other forms of particulate contamination will settle into carpets, floors and furnishings. When you use your vacuum, the machine sucks up these contaminants and they can then be re-emitted into the air through the vacuum’s exhaust as they tend to be microscopic in nature. This puts all of these allergens back into the air and potentially spreads the contamination over a wider area. Over time they will settle back down but, in the interim, they can seriously aggravate the symptoms of allergy sufferers.

picture of dust mites which can cause allergiesWith older vacuums, the only filtration was to protect the motor of the machine. In essence, they were filters that were only designed to catch large pieces of dirt and debris that could damage the machine. On the current market (and certainly at the cheaper end of the scale), you can still find vacuums that have fairly simple filters that will not do much to remove microscopic particles from the air that passes through the system. There are however other models that use advanced filtering to limit the impact that vacuuming has on the indoor air quality of the home and these are the hoover models we’ll talk about in more detail below.


What to look for

In the process of selecting the right vacuum for your home, there are several points that you may want to consider. Of course, you are going decide whether you want an upright or a canister and consider things like bagged or bagless, but an allergy sufferer needs to take the vacuum’s impact on indoor air quality into account.

picture of a hepa filterAs a person with allergies, the most important point to consider is the filtration. Every vacuum has filters, but you need to find one that has the right kind of filtration. The key thing to look for is a machine that has a HEPA filter. HEPA stands for ‘high-efficiency particulate arrestance’ or ‘high efficiency particulate air’. A HEPA filter will trap most of the microscopic contamination that passes through the machine. To be considered a HEPA filter, it must have an efficiency of at least 95%, but many of them are much more effective. You can find out more about how they work here.


Bagged vs bagless – why this can have additional implications for allergy sufferers

An additional and important point to consider is emptying the machine. If you are thinking about buying a bagless machine, the simpler and more hygienic the emptying process, the better. If you’re considering a bagged machine, you want to ideally choose a model with bags that ‘self-seal’ when they are removed from the machine.

Some bagless cleaners, even though they may be very efficient vacuums, can cause significant amounts of dust to be released into the atmosphere when you empty the dust container into the bin by the very nature of the process of shaking the container to get the dust and debris to fall out.

One option to consider, even though it may be a little tedious, is to empty the vacuum outdoors ie take a carrier bag or nearly-full bin bag and empty the contents of the dust container into that, and then put it straight out with your regular rubbish for collection. This will save any unnecessary dust escaping back into the air inside your home. This is obviously far from ideal, but certainly worth considering if your allergy problems are severe.

This is one of the areas where, unfortunately, there is no clear-cut answer, as both bagged and bagless models have advantages and disadvantages so you’ll need to take a view based on your personal circumstances.

You can find further information on this subject in our buying guide here.



So, without further ado, below are a a few of the machines we would recommend you take a look at. Prices, as you will see, vary significantly, from about £40 up to about £250. As always, to a certain extent, ‘you get what you pay for’ but that’s not to say you have to spend an arm and a leg to get a model that will meet your requirements. We have added a link for each machine to Amazon.co.uk as they tend to be very competitive for electrical appliances, so we are happy to recommend them. That’s not to say they are always the cheapest, and we’d recommend you shop around, but they aren’t often beaten on price for these types of products due to the competitive nature of their 3rd party marketplace.


1. Dyson DC40 Multi Floor (Our Top Pick)

picture of the dyson dc40 multi floor from the side

More than just a great floor cleaning machine, the Dyson DC40 is a good vacuum for people with allergies. It works well for cleaning on all sorts of surfaces and it comes with features that are designed to reduce the amount of dust and contamination that goes back into the air. It might be a bit on the expensive side, but with this model, Dyson has made one of the better machines for allergies.

This machine comes with high performance filtration. It has a HEPA filter for removing almost all of the most common household particulates from the air, and it has a bin emptying system that is clean and hygienic.

The strong cyclonic suction will remove dust and dirt from carpets and floors and the filtration helps to make sure that it does not escape into the air. In addition to that, this machine has Dyson’s ball steering for easy handling. It is easy to handle around furniture and to turn around angles, plus it has a nice set of tools for cleaning above the floor.



HEPA filtration

Easy to use

Washable lifetime filter

 Hygienic bin emptying system


A bit expensive

A little loud

Check the price on Amazon.co.uk Check the price on Amazon.co.uk


2. Bosch BGS5PERFGB Pro Perform Bagless Vacuum Cleaner

picture of the bosch vacuum which is good for allergy sufferersIf you are looking for a good cylinder vacuum for allergies, then the Bosch BGS5PERFGB is one of the best that you will find. This model provides first-rate cleaning on both hard floors and carpets, plus it has the features that will help to combat issues related to air quality.

This is a really well engineered machine. It delivers powerful suction for cleaning on any surface, plus it has different power settings for different cleaning jobs. The BGS5PERFGB will lift dirt and dust from carpets, and it has the HEPA filter for trapping microscopic contaminants. Additionally, this model does have a clean bin emptying process, so there is little to worry about in regard to emptying the machine.

As for ease of use, this model is user-friendly. It is a little on the bulky side, but it glides along easily on its wheels and the parts are all easy to handle and easy to use. Further, this is a bagless machine with a large 3L capacity. The user can get a lot of cleaning done without having to stop for an emptying.



HEPA filtration

Large capacity 3L bin

Durable and reliable

 Hygienic bin emptying system


A little bulky

Check the price on Amazon.co.uk Check the price on Amazon.co.uk


3. Vax U84-AL-Pe Air Lift Steerable Pet Vacuum Cleaner

picture of the Vax U84-AL-Pe Air Lift Steerable Vacuum Cleaner

As a more affordable option, the Vax Air Lift U84-AL-Pe is a good upright vacuum for allergy sufferers. It provides solid cleaning capabilities on hard floors and carpets, plus it is a versatile machine with a lift-away cylinder.

For people that have allergy trouble, this can be a good cleaning machine. It has the HEPA filter, so it performs well in regard to maintaining air quality, and its strong suction does a great job for all sorts of cleaning jobs.

For a less expensive machine, this vacuum also has a nice selection of features. Firstly, this Vax model has a 3-in-1 tool for crevice cleaning and dusting, plus it also has a turbo tool, which means this model is also good for homes with pets. Further, you have the lift-away cylinder to make cleaning above the floors easier. The cylinder lifts from the body of the machine, and you can easily carry it around as you go.



HEPA filter

Lift-away cylinder

Comes with turbo brush

 Good value for money


Low bin capacity

Turbo tool is not motorised

A little loud

Check the price on Amazon.co.uk Check the price on Amazon.co.uk


4. Shark Powered Lift Away Upright Vacuum Cleaner

picture of the Shark NV680UKT hoover which is suitable for allergy sufferers

The Shark Powered Lift-Away NV680UKT is a great vacuum on so many levels. It cleans well for a number of different tasks, it is one of the most versatile machines out there, and it comes with a design that will effectively reduce the amount of allergens that are released back into the air.

To start, this machine does have the HEPA filter to help reduce the amount of dust and other particles that get re-emitted back into the air. Additionally, Shark designed this model with a complete seal to ensure that nothing escapes. With this design, the NV680UKT removes 99.9% of the dust and allergens in the air – making it one of the most efficient models for air particulate removal.

Beyond being great for allergy suffers, this is just an all around great vacuum. It cleans well on hard floors and carpets, plus it is designed for a high level of versatility and effectiveness. It has a lift-away cylinder for easy cleaning above the floor and under furniture, it has a special dusting head for hard floors and it comes with a motorised turbo tool. If you have pets and allergies, this machine should be perfect for your home.



HEPA filter

Lift-away cylinder

Powered pet brush

Removes 99.9% of contaminants from the air



A bit pricey

Low bin capacity

Check the price on Amazon.co.uk Check the price on Amazon.co.uk

Please note: there is more than one listing for this model on Amazon.co.uk, and, at the time of writing, they vary in price by £100! We have linked here to the cheaper one for obvious reasons 🙂

5. Vax Energise Vibe C86-E2-Be Cylinder Vacuum

picture of the Vax Energise Vibe C86-E2-Be budget vacuum for allergies

As a budget option, the Vax Energise Vibe C86-E2-Be can be a good cylinder vacuum for people that have problems with allergies. It can clean on hard floors and carpets, it has tools for cleaning above the floor, and it does well on dust re-emissions.

This C86-E2-Be from Vax does have the HEPA filter, so it does a great job of removing microscopic particles from the air the passes through the system. It also has powerful suction that provides the machine with decent cleaning capabilities. The performance on hard floors is excellent, however, it does struggle a bit with heavy carpets. If you only have light rugs and carpets, this should not be a problem, but it does not get deep into thicker carpeting.

As for ease of use, this machine does ok, but some buyers might have issues. It follows along fairly easy as you clean, but the short cord does limit the working radius. This is also a bagless model, and it does have a nice large bin at 2.2L.

Being that it is considerably less expensive than the other vacuums on this list, and that it does well for removing allergens from the air, it can be a great value option for someone that has allergies, but does not have a lot of money to spend on a vacuum.




 HEPA filter

 Large capacity dustbin


Carpet performance could be better

Short cord


Check the price on Amazon.co.uk Check the price on Amazon.co.uk


In Conclusion

If you have allergies, then a vacuum is not (sadly) going to solve all of your problems. That said, a vacuum that is equipped with the right features can do a lot to improve the indoor air quality of the home, and it can help to prevent the flare-up of contaminants that occur every time you do the hoovering.

Other things to think about to reduce the impact of allergies would be periodically scrubbing your hard floors and giving your rugs and carpets occasional deep cleaning. You can find further information to help you allergy-proof your home here.

In this article, we explained what to look for when shopping for a good allergy vacuum, and we offered some recommendations for machines that work well for these purposes. In addition to the vacuums that we covered here, there are numerous other models that can work equally well for allergy sufferers. Just bear in mind the points mentioned above, and you should be able to quickly narrow down your shortlist.

We hope that the information in this article has been helpful, and that it will help you to find the right vacuum for your home.

We always love to hear your feedback so please let us know your experiences, good or bad, by leaving comments below as this can help others in the future. 


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