Times have changed greatly. VAX offered us the chance to test one of their new, lightweight, bagless models and we chose the VAX Air Stretch Pet Upright Vacuum Cleaner.
Our existing vacuum is a pull-along one from a well known 'bagless' brand and, although I could never fault it's vacuuming power, it is difficult to move. It doesn't corner so that if you pull it, it generally smacks into the furniture if you're not paying attention.
It is also quite heavy and because we've managed to lose most of the tools, nooks and crannies are often overlooked. Its weight also doesn't help my back so lugging it up and down stairs is a problem and it simply doesn't have the reach to vacuum the ceiling.
The VAX Air Stretch cleaner has none of these problems. It is a powerful (820w) and lightweight upright vacuum cleaner with a long reach hose and cord.
It is also ideal for homes with pets as it comes with a TurboTool to help remove stubborn dirt and pet hair from surfaces around your home.
The product is also supplied with a 3-in-1 tool
Whilst we don't have a pet (yet!), both the Husband and I suffer from a dust allergy so a powerful vacuum is important for us. We have stripped out lots of the carpet so we also need a machine that copes well with hard floors without scratching the surface.
The VAX is multi-cyclonic (which means you don't lose suction), has a HEPA filter and, best of all it comes with a long cord and hose which reaches up to 17 metres.
You can use the VAX on carpet or hard floor by simply altering a gauge on the base of the machine and the tools attach to the body of the upright (although we haven't found where the TurboTool goes).
It weighs only 4.9kg making it easy to lift and, whilst it is a battle with my existing cleaner to lift it step by step to do the stairs, the VAX has the reach to allow you to just use the cord and the TurboTool which makes it much easier on my back.
The machine is also easy to empty - you just detach the dust container, unclip at the bottom and empty straight into the bin.
The only slight negatives I can find are firstly that the machine is quite noisy for those of us with Tinnitus but the same could be said of most of today's updated household appliances.
Secondly, an upright vacuum cleaner does take a little more storage space but it's given us an extra incentive to clean out the cupboard under the stairs where we tend to 'store' too many coats and cans of tinned tomatoes from our forays to Costco.
The product comes with free delivery and a 6 year guarantee. It retails at £249.99.
We found it was easy to use, light to lift and did the job well.
You can find more information about this and the full range of VAX products at www.vax.co.uk.
*We were sent a VAX Air Stretch Pet Upright Vacuum Cleaner for the purpose of this review.