Upright or cylinder vacuum

Upright or cylinder vacuum

Uprights and cylinder vacuums are some of the most common and familiar house-cleaning products on the market.

In fact, the first ever Hoover was an upright vacuum - followed only a few years later by the cylinder

Due to their longevity in the market, uprights and cylinders are among the most popular vacuum cleaners in the UK and Europe. Every home needs a vacuum, but which type is best?

Here we discuss the key differences between upright and cylinder vacuums, helping you make the right purchase for your home!

What are the main features of an upright vacuum cleaner?

Perhaps the most obvious feature of upright vacuums is that, as their name suggests, they stand upright. The handle usually sits at the top, allowing you to push the floorhead back and forth along surfaces. Here are some of the key features of Hoover upright vacuums:

Hoover’s Upright Vacuum Features

  • Uses multi-cyclonic technology with no loss of suction
  • Agile and steerable floorhead
  • HEPA anti-allergy filter
  • Bagless
  • Easy to empty
  • Mains corded
  • Great for hard floors, cleaning stairs and carpets

Our latest Hoover uprights also feature a steerable floorhead to make it easy to turn corners and move around furniture or other obstacles in your home. 

Despite their larger size compared to a cylinder, uprights can be surprisingly light and agile; our latest model - The Hoover Upright 300 - weighs as little as 4.94kg, making it our lightest, steerable upright Hoover vacuum ever.*

Uprights are typically corded and plug into the mains for constant power, which means they don’t need to be charged before/after use.

We have designed our power cords to be long (up 10m in the 500 reach models), along with a long stretch hose (up to 4.5m) for maximum coverage from the same power outlet. This makes them great for large spaces and avoids you having to interrupt cleaning to change to a different power socket.

All of our Upright models use multi-cyclonic technology, which separates the dust and keeps it away from the filter to keep them performing at their best and help the filter stay cleaner for longer. In addition, HEPA filters are common in uprights, which helps to trap particles and purify the air that is released back into your home.

Thanks to a robust frame, uprights typically have several tools on board to cater for above-floor cleaning tasks and hard to reach areas - such as alcoves and cabinets. 

Using the stretch hose and upholstery tool an upright can easily clean the inside of a car, your sofa and much more.

*Upright 300 combining a net weight of 4.94 Kg excluding tools and power cord, with an 80 degrees floor head swivel range.

What are the main features of a cylinder vacuum cleaner?

Cylinder vacuums are often more compact than their upright counterparts, but this doesn’t mean they compromise on power and performance. The main body of the hoover is lightweight and mobile, with a long-reach hose for maximum coverage. Here are some of the key features of Hoover Cylinder Vacuums:

Hoover Cylinder Vacuum Features

  • Compact design and easy to store
  • Large capacity
  • Lightweight & sits on the floor during use
  • Variable power (some models)
  • Retractable power cable
  • Bagged or bagless models available
  • Can be used on hard floors, carpets and stairs


Cylinder vacuums are great all-rounders which can be used in a wide range of cleaning scenarios. Arguably the most popular feature of a cylinder vacuum cleaner is its high portability and ease of use due to the body being on the floor with only the hose in your hand - this is a great benefit for the elderly or people with mobility issues. 

Despite having a compact body, cylinder vacuum cleaners have large capacities to hold the dirt and dust - 5L and 3.5L in the bagged models and 1.8L for the bagless. This is considerably higher than upright models which means fewer trips to empty the bin during a deep clean of the home. However, the larger capacities are bagged so bear in mind that bagless cylinders are a pretty similar capacity to uprights.

There are plenty of tools included with Hoover cylinder vacuums which include a crevice tool, dusting brush, and pet hair remover on our pet vacuums. This makes them extremely versatile and capable for a wide range of cleaning jobs around the house.

As Cylinders are so compact in size, they tend to have two or three basic tools stored onboard, the pets brush needs to be stored elsewhere.

Should I choose an upright or cylinder vacuum cleaner?


The power of cylinders and uprights are comparable - cylinders wattage range from 500W-800W with Uprights between 700W-850W.

However, modern vacuum cleaners have been designed to work efficiently using less power than their predecessors from 5+ years ago, so it’s best not to compare based on wattage alone.

Floor type cleaning

Both an upright vacuum cleaner and a cylinder are capable of cleaning different floor types: an Upright usually has a button to switch on the rotating brush for deep cleaning carpets. Cylinders don’t have the rotating brush, but they will typically have a multi-purpose head which can be used on any floor type. 

Some Cylinders come with a second head that you can switch to for special surfaces, e.g. a Parquet head to clean delicate floors without scratching. 

Uprights and cylinders are both able to tackle hard floors, thick carpets, stairs and low furniture. Both are capable of getting to hard to reach areas and cleaning various types of carpet pile on the floor and stairs.


As with any vacuum cleaner, the technology onboard can be a decision-driving factor when looking for the right product.

Hoover offers the latest technologies in both uprights and cylinders, meaning the final choice often comes down to design rather than functionality.

Our Hoover Uprights use multi-cyclonic technology along with a H13 HEPA filter to separate the dirt into a bagless storage bin and trap particles. Uprights are great for those looking for the most modern solutions to clean without the cost and hassle of having to replace bags. 

Our Cylinder vacuum range also offers powerful, bagless technology with the H-Power 300. Like the upright models, the H-Power 300 also comes with a H13 HEPA filter fitted as standard - making it a powerful and versatile solution for allergy care.


Our cylinder vacuums often have more on-board capacity than our upright models. However, the easy-empty technology on our upright vacuums makes it straightforward and convenient to maintain on the go.

The best dust storage system is entirely down to user preference and how you prefer to get rid of all the dust and dirt you have collected. 


In terms of weight, a cylinder vacuum cleaner is lighter than an upright, although the new Upright 300 closes that gap considerably. 

However, what should be considered when making an upright vs cylinder vacuum comparison is that a cylinder is on the floor and needs to be pulled whereas an upright is in your hands and needs to be pushed. 


Whether it's a Hoover upright or cylinder you choose, you'll get plenty of tools included. These include a dusting brush, crevice tool, extension tube for the upright vacuum cleaners as well as a pets mini turbo brush for the pets models. 


There is a clear difference between these types of vacuum in terms of reach as the uprights have a combined reach from the long hose and power cord of up to 15m whereas the cylinders have a maximum reach of 10m. 

This makes the uprights a better choice for those who need the extra reach for cleaning cars, high ceilings and furniture or if the home is lacking several power outlets.