A mobile and energy efficient vacuum with a fantastic price
The Panasonic MC-UL426 Eco Max is a fairly standard upright vacuum cleaner, built to cope with the dirt and dust collected in the average household. That’s not a bad thing, however, as the straightforward approach means it costs a very reasonable £160.
With a much wider brush head than the average cylinder vacuum, we were able to collect the full amount of cat litter from our drop tests, on both carpets and hard floors, with just two sweeps. However, it may not cope so well with ground in dirt as it wasn’t as powerful in our tests as other cleaners. Panasonic rates it at 1,400W but we measured the UL426’s suction at a fairly average 26kPa. This dropped to around 25.5kPa once the bin gets half full, but remains there until the bin is full.
Because the bin has a somewhat low 1.7litre capacity, you’ll be emptying it more often than other upright cleaners. Removing it is a one button affair, as is emptying it.
Although Panasonic doesn’t disclose the rated noise, we found it a fairly noisy vacuum cleaner. Sound falls quite rapidly when you step away from the cleaner, although this doesn’t help much on this model, as you have to stand close to push it around.
At least the UL426 is convenient. It has a detachable (although not telescopic) hose, along with holsters for the crevice nozzle and dusting nozzle, along with a Mini-turbine Nozzle which can cope with thicker carpets thanks to its spinning brushes. Panasonic also includes a spare hose, spare extension tube and an upholstery brush. You have to manually wrap up the 7.5m cable, as there’s no automatic rewinder. With a maximum reach of 8m, you also won’t be able to get as far from a power socket as you might with other uprights. At 7.6kg it’s not particularly heavy, which is handy as its two castor wheels mean it’s not always the most manoeuvrable cleaner.
Based on its power consumption, which we measured at a peak 1,164w, it should be fairly efficient to run; the trade-off is slightly less suction.
Although it completed our practical tests, the UL426 has comparatively low suction and less reach than its rivals. However, once you factor in the price, these shortcomings aren’t the deal breakers they would otherwise be. If you’re on a budget and have room for an upright cleaner, the UL426 is still a great choice. Buy now from Amazon.