Companies have recently made claim and counter-claim for the suction power of their models and last month Dyson, pioneer of the bagless cleaner, said it was to sue its arch-rival, Miele.
Which? tested 17 models. The Dyson was named Best Buy of the upright cleaners. It sorts dust with a cyclone, as against the traditional versions fitted with bags. But when it came to dust pick-up, Dysons, which have been chosen as Millenium Products, were beaten by three other makes, includiung Miele.
Among cylinder cleaners, Which?'s best buys were the pounds 160 Miele S312i, the pounds 110 Hoover Alpina SC211 and the pounds 150 Panasonic MC-E962, with nine out of 10 points, and the pounds 80 Morphy Richards Handy 70011, with eight points.
The two Dysons, the pounds 230 DC02 Absolute and pounds 200 DC02, were ranked poorer value for money and scored eight and seven points respectively.
Among uprights, the "classic" Dyson DC01 (pounds 200) came out as one of two best buys but only managed a score of seven points.
In the critical dust pick-up test - which accounted for 50 per cent of the marks - the Miele, Panasonic and Morphy Richards cylinder models were all judged to work better than the Dysons.
Performance was judged by spreading dust on a carpet and measuring how much was picked up by the cleaners as the bag or canister filled up.