As well as Enjoying talking about himself in the third person the Appliance Hunter also likes to be able to breathe properly. So as an Asthma sufferer a HEPA vacuum is a must.
But even if you’re not an allergy sufferer a HEPA vacuum can be a good idea to help purify the air in your home keeping it fresher.
And if your a pet owner it can take any allergens out the air so even people with pet allergies can come visit (check out my guide to pet hair vacuums for more info).
I’ve searched high and low hunting through the lands to bring you the best HEPA vacuums available here in the UK, check them out below.
What is a HEPA Filter?
HEPA, which stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air, is an air purifier filter which traps 99.97% of particulates that are over .3 microns.
Let’s break that down further. What is a micron?
A micron is a particle that is one-millionth of a meter. So, that can range a bit in size. Some microns are even big enough to be detected by the human eye. Still very small though.
As a frame of reference a spore is 3-40 microns. Bacteria is .3 to 60 microns, mould is 3-12 microns and a dust mite is 10 microns.
Out of those examples, then a HEPA filter will trap all of them including bacteria. That keeps your air very pure. Any particle smaller than .3 microns may pass through the filter, but in general, even those smaller ones are effectively trapped.
A HEPA filter must be tested and the minimum accepted range is the previously mentioned 99.97% of microns trapped.
The way a HEPA filter works is by a series of mesh layers that not only trap the larger particles from getting through, but also by the collision of smaller particles against larger ones. Some HEPA filters are washable, and some need to be replaced once they are no longer effective.
Not all HEPA filters are equal, however. Some are simple and use tried and true methods to clear the air, and others are enhanced to trap a variety of particulates.
What Are the Different Types of HEPA Filters?
There are different types of HEPA filters. Which kind you need will be determined by what problem you need solved.
If you just want the dust mites out of the air when you vacuum then a simple HEPA will do the trick. If you need odours from pets or cigarette smoke removed, then a simple one may not be enough.
Some other types of HEPA filters:
There is a layer of activated carbon in the filter that doesn’t just trap particles, it reacts with them chemically.
This is very effective at removing odours and chemicals from the air.
This type of HEPA filter charges negative ions that attract particles with positive ions. They then bond together and are too heavy to pass through the mesh of the filter.
This helps with eliminated pollutants from the air as well odours.
UV Air Purifiers
By using electromagnetic radiation against the dust, it kills moulds, viruses, bacteria and yeast. It doesn’t filter out any dust particles, it just sort of cleans the dust before it gets filtered out. Even using a HEPA with UV, it’s important to note the rating to see if it will filter out enough microns for your allergy needs.
If you are an allergy sufferer then having a vacuum that leaves the air cleaner after using it is extremely important. A vacuum without the proper filtration could make your allergies worse.
Must Have Features of a Vacuum for Allergies
When looking into a vacuum for allergy sufferers, it’s important to take note of a few features.
Here are a few items you should look for when determining if the vacuum you are considering will indeed help out with your allergies.
Standard of Filtration
Your basic HEPA filter will be rated to filter 99.97% of particles over .3 microns. That is probably enough for most allergy sufferers. However, people that have certain allergies may need something stronger than that.
There are HEPA filters on vacuums that remove 99.99% of particles up to .3 microns, and even some that are rated for particles that are even smaller, around .2 microns.
Many good vacuums these days come very tightly sealed. If you are an allergy sufferer, you really need to make sure that the vacuum with a HEPA filter is among them. If the gaskets leak air then the HEPA filter is useless.
Dust laden air will be making its way back into your home before it gets filtered. Leaky systems are also not very good at suction and you wouldn’t want that even without allergy issues.
Bagged vs Bagless
Bagless vacuums are very popular since they are generally more efficient and keep their suction better than bagged vacuums. However, emptying a dusty canister means having a lot of the dust you are trying to avoid coming in very close contact with you.
Bagged vacuums, therefore, may be a better option if you have bad allergies. Many bagged vacuums have an automatic seal system that closes as soon as you detach it. Simply drop the bag in the bin and avoid any dust altogether.
There are even some models that have the bag itself act as a filter.
Allergens are not only trapped in your carpets but on just about any surface. To really make sure your entire house is allergen free after vacuuming you may need some specialized attachments. A good upholstery brush, for example. If you have pets, a turbo brush to clean your sofa and pet beds is essential.
There are organizations like British Allergy Foundation that will give their stamp of approval for vacuums that have special features for people with allergies. This can give some peace of mind that the product has been tested with you in mind.
The Best HEPA Vacuums for Allergies Reviewed
HEPA Cyclonic Vacuum Cleaner
- 700 watt
- 2.5 litre bagless
- Quiet at 76 dB
- Telescopic tube
- Crevice tool and upholstery brush included
- Auto shut off in case of overheating
- Lightweight 6.7 kg
- Short 6 m cord
The most popular HEPA filter enabled vacuum is this smart cylinder vacuum by VonHaus. It has a great price and some features that make it easy to see why it sells so well on Amazon.
There is one caveat, however. This is a bagless model and there will be dust spilling into the air when you empty the cylinder. If you have severe allergies you may want to keep this in mind.
If your allergies are seasonal or are not too serious, then this shouldn’t be an issue.
With all that said, the vacuum itself does a great job of filtering the air through the HEPA filter to keep it from circulating throughout your house. Another interesting feature is an alarm if the filter gets clogged.
Well, more like a high pitched sound that comes from the unit rather than a dedicated alarm, but enough to alert you to an underperforming filter. If it happens you just need to empty the bin to remove the debris.
As far as other functions not related to allergies, the vacuum is good on both hard floors and carpets alike. It sports two speeds. Low for carpet and high for the floor. This, along with no rotating brush head, makes it a very good option for deep pile carpets.
It’s on the lighter side of a cylinder vacuum at less than 7 kg so it is highly manoeuvrable. The small profile also helps here. As well as for storage.
Though I wouldn’t recommend it for anybody with very serious allergies, for somebody with sensitivity to dust or dust mites, then this is enough to keep your house free from allergens. In all, it is a good value vacuum for allergies.
Basic Allergy Vacuum Cleaner
- Great price
- Washable HEPA 12 filter
- Good suction
- Variable suction
- Lightweight at 4.5 kg
- AAA rated energy efficiency
- Quiet 78 dB
- Short cord at 6m
This is only a cheap HEPA filter vacuum in name, really. Because it is Amazon’s own product, they can sell it cheaper than the competition while keeping many features people are looking for.
Sometimes, these cheap, ultra-budget items seem like they just couldn’t possibly work well. This smart little hoover is proof that you can buy quality products on a budget.
The motor is powerful yet, AAA rated in energy efficiency and the variable suction is a good feature to have for when changing surface types. Low suction for deep pile rugs and high for hard floors.
For accessories, you get a crevice tool, upholstery brush and parquet brush. The hose is 1.5 meters and adjustable, so even though the cord is on the short side, you do get good range of cleaning.
The reason you’re reading this review is to find out if the HEPA filter is good enough. It is rated at a 12 which means it is very good at picking up particulates down to .3 microns. But, what makes this a very good option for somebody looking for a cheap HEPA filter vacuum is the fact that it is A rated at dust emissions. It is sealed well so the filter is able to do it’s well.
The one disappointment when it comes to some of these HEPA filter vacuums is the bagless chamber. When dumping the debris, you do risk inhaling some of the allergens. Make sure to keep it in mind if your allergy is rather bad.
Energise Vibe Vacuum
- HEPA filter
- Great Price
- Lightweight at 4.3 kg
- 2.2 litre cylinder
- A rated dust re-emission
- Dusting brush, crevice tool and upholstery brush included
- Quite loud
Runner up to the Amazon basic is this Vax cheap HEPA vacuum. It is still a great vacuum even considering it’s very low price tag.
It sports a powerful 950-watt motor that provides a good amount of suction. The attachments can help you get a total home clean up. With a crevice tool, upholstery brush and dusting brush, you can reach every nook and cranny thanks to the telescopic wand and long hose.
The HEPA filter is able to trap particles and in addition, the body is sealed well. Earning it an A rating for dust re-emissions. Of course, as is the case with so many of these bagless vacuums, the canister will cause a small dust cloud when you empty it.
I can only recommend bagless cylinder vacuums for allergy sufferers that don’t have severe allergies.
It’s very lightweight and easy to move around. The small profile enables easy storage and also to clean stairs.
Expert Vacuum Cleaner
- 40% more pick up than the competition
- HEPA 13 filter
- PowerCyclone 6 technology to clean, contain and filter dirt
- Super turbo brush
- Nano clean dust bin has less mess emptying bin
- Lightweight at 5.5 kg
- 2 litre dustbin
- Quiet at 76 dB
- A rated for dust re-emission
- No rotating bar brush tool
The Philips Expert does it all if you are a pet owner. It is so powerful that it claims to remove up to 40% more dust than its peers. This is welcome news if you are one of those pet owners that have allergies to pet hair or dander.
The HEPA 13 rated filter gets 99.99% of all particles over .3 microns. Consider, in addition to that, how much more dust you are able to remove with this vacuum and you begin to see how this is so highly rated for a HEPA vacuum for pet allergies.
With an A rating for dust re-emission, it effectively filters and retains the dust and particles inside and out of the air in your home.
The TriactiveMax head works great by beating the carpet to get the deep down dust within. This helps immensely not only keeping your carpets cleaner and fresher but to reduce the suffering for pet owners with allergies.
Usually the bagless varieties of vacuum end up leaving a plume of dust when emptying. The dustbin features a spout system that reduces the amount of dust that puffs up when emptying.
The articulating head makes it very easy to manoeuvre. Also, the design of the head reduces the stick on suction that some other powerful vacuums have. This really makes it a breeze to clean up without needing to manhandle the nozzle off the floor.
This is one of the best all-around cylinder vacuums on the market. It comes highly recommended even if you don’t have pet allergies. Or even pets for that matter! If you do have allergies, then this should definitely be on your short list as you research.
NV340UKT Lift-Away Vacuum Cleaner
- A rated HEPA filter system for 99.99% of particles
- Sealed body
- Pet brush attachment
- Converts to handheld
- Hose attachment
- Swivel base
- LED headlights
Knowing that pet owners suffer from allergies with a myriad of dust mites, bacteria and other nefarious particles in the air of their home, Shark made this vacuum with them in mind.
It excels at cleaning pet hair and deep, stubborn pet messes. In addition, though, is an excellent filtration system that traps 99.99% of particles .3 microns or over. The HEPA filter does its job with the body specially sealed to make sure that no dust filled air is able to evade the filter.
There are actually two other mesh filters in addition to the HEPA and all are washable.
Rotating brush bars on the floor head beat the pet hairs and other large debris into submission before it is sucked up into the canister. Then there is a powerful turbo brush for pet hair.
Then the fact that this turns into a handheld with a flexible hose means that you can clean the stairs or your car. All the while enjoying clean, bacteria and particle free air while you’re at it.
The Shark excels at both carpets and hard floors. In fact, it’s one of the best vacuums for hard floors as it has a dust away feature to wipe up any dust residue left behind by the nozzle.
The only downside is the canister when emptying. You will still have to be very careful when emptying the bagless canister to avoid undoing all the work the filters have done.