When it comes to vacuuming, I just want something that will get the job done in the quickest time and will get into all the corners without having to move the furniture across the room to get the place spotless. We've always had upright vacuums whether bag or bagless but I was happy when Amazon offered me the Hoover Xarion Greenray Bagless Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner.
Unboxing it, it's really pretty self explanatory how each piece fits together from the hose to the telescopic extension tube and the various nozzles for different surfaces so it didn't take long before it was in use. The first thing that did surprise me was just how quiet it seemed compared to our upright Panasonic. It's not silent by any means but it's possible to use this downstairs and not hear it upstairs as I would with the Panasonic. I wondered if the reduction is noise would be down to a lower wattage compared to my previous vacuum and true enough, the Hoover uses 1200W compared to the 1900W Panasonic.
From the box, the Hoover Xarion promises "TWICE THE POWER, HALF THE ENERGY" meaning it's highly efficient using up to half the wattage of other cleaners - so although it's only 1200W it's giving the power of a 2300W vacuum (although this isn't easy to verify using it myself) plus it has their dust separation technology 'Airvolution' so it has 100% suction at all times. I think this was where I was disappointed with Dyson as they always promised no loss of suction but one of our models did. With the Hoover I've never felt any loss of suction but it doesn't feel as powerful.
The vacuum itself looks good and feels well made. To correspond with lowering your carbon footprint with using half the energy, the vacuum is a nice bright green colour with white, black and silver. It may not fit in with your homes' colour scheme but it's not ghastly. The power cord feels a lot thinner and more flexible compared to other vacuums with the cord rewind button pretty gentle. I was expecting it to violently retract so thankfully there is little chance of injury. At 6 metres the cord is also a decent length to comfortably vacuum around each room with the added length of the hose and telescopic tube for added movement. At 5'7 tall I will extend the tube fully while I'm using it but still feel I bend over to put some elbow grease into vacuuming. I like the Navigator Handle as it makes it easy to steer the nozzle around obstacles, is comfortable to grip and doesn't slip out my hand but there is a slight problem with it. There is the option to switch from Soft/Mid/Max suction and my thumb always hits it reducing it from Max. Not the end of the world however.
Another small problem I've come across is although the power button is a good size, it doesn't always recognise when I've pushed it so I have had to press it a couple of times although that's mainly down to my error as I'm trying to press it with my foot and not pushing it right down.
I feel like I do have to go over a couple of areas more than once but it's really not as much hassle as using an upright. The handle is light and although I do bend over it doesn't cause me any strain. The various nozzles provided with my vacuum are the Caresse wood and laminate nozzle, Adjustable hard floor/carpet nozzle and a 3 in 1 crevice tool/dusting brush/furniture nozzle. These nozzles are easy to change over and get into small spaces without having to move all the furniture around to get an upright into. One thing I absolutely hated on the Panasonic upright was when I did use the hose, it was so short which would tip the vacuum over if I stretched too far. I don't know how many times I ended up hitting myself on my head with it! Obviously there's no chance of this happening with the cylinder cleaner but it's easy to stretch with a decent length of hose (1.7m) plus extend the tube.
This cylinder cleaner also makes it very easy to vacuum the stairs. Because you're not trying to move the whole thing you can swipe over each step easily with a nozzle and the cleaner will sit still. There is the carry handle and it is quite a weighty at 6.4kg but you're really only moving it a 3 or 4 steps at a time and up or downstairs.
It's easy to see how full the 1.5 litre dust container is getting and it's so simple to empty it. After releasing the handle the whole thing just lifts out and by pushing a button at the bottom, releases the base to empty it. If it's particularly full it's easy to unclip it from the top too so you can tip the container upside down. I would recommend making sure you've got the base right in a bag when emptying it as the dust can fly about a bit.
Although there are HEPA filters with this vacuum, they're washable and should be washed every 3 months rather than having to buy replacements. These are used to help reduced dust which makes it a great vacuum for allergy and asthma sufferers. After using my vacuum for a couple of months I can see the dust gathering on them but they're easy to remove similar to the dust container. Having a nosey at Hooverspares.com a replacement Hoover HEPA Filter Kit will cost over £30 however they don't seem to the list the part numbers given in the Instruction Manual for this model so it would better to phone them.
Storage wise, it's not the easiest thing. There is a slot for one of the nozzles to slip into to have the hose in a more upright position but it's not as tidy as an upright. The hose can easily be detached though but if you do want to use the various nozzles you need to find somewhere else to keep them.
The vacuum is currently priced at £179.99 on Amazon. There are very similar Dyson models and they all seem to be around the same price. Comparing it with our previous Panasonic which is a few years old now and priced at £77.99 without many of the features of the Hoover, I do obviously prefer the Hoover as there are no other costs like having to replace bags. I'd have liked some of the features from Hoover's other models like 'bactizero treatment' on the exhaust filter and Allergen/ Pet Hair Remover Brush/Allergy Care Plus. I am happy with the performance and it's been a welcome replacement to the Panasonic upright. I like the fact it's quieter, uses less energy, has an easy to use handle and it's so easy to empty/clean the filters. I would however knock off a star for the few little niggles I do have with it.