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Hoover H-Upright 300 review: An affordable upright vacuum cleaner that falls just short

Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
142
inc VAT

The Hoover H-Upright 300 cleans well and won’t break the bank, but it’s better on carpet than hard floor

Pros 
Light and manoeuverable
Affordable
Easy-to-empty collection bin
Cons 
Confusing manual settings
Low front doesn’t climb obstacles or large particles
Limited attachments on standard model
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Corded upright vacuum cleaners such as the Hoover H-Upright 300 offer the best bang per buck when it comes to cleaning power. While cordless stick vacuums can clean just as well and offer a range of benefits, not least of which is the lack of a trailing cable to manage as you move around the house, the best models can cost £400 or more.

Embrace the cord, however, and you can get a similar level of cleaning for a more modest outlay, with even Dyson and Shark’s upright models retailing for less than £200. The H-Upright 300 is even cheaper, with the base model available for only £142 at the time of writing.

Hoover H-Upright 300 review: What do you get for the money?

Hoover is pricing the H-Upright 300 keenly, with even the undiscounted price of the basic model undercutting the £200 price point of its key competitors. However, it comes with minimal attachments: just a crevice tool and a dusting brush.

There are also two Pet configurations, which offer different sets of attachments. Both come with a small motorised nozzle with a rotating brush connected to a turbine, effectively powering the brush using the air that’s sucked through the nozzle.

The Red Pets model adds this motorised nozzle to the attachments I’ve listed above, while the Blue Pets version replaces the two tools with a single multi-purpose crevice/dusting/furniture attachment. While these Pet models launched at £199, it pays to shop around: at the time of writing, all versions were available for less than £150. I was sent the standard model to review, so I haven’t been able to test the pet attachment.

The Hoover is reasonably light for a corded model, weighing just 4.94kg. This is lighter than its similarly priced competitors, with the Shark DuoClean with Lift-Away NV702UK weighing 5.25kg and the Dyson Small Ball Allergy a hefty 6.9kg. It’s easier to carry around but isn’t small, standing at over a metre tall (1,147 x 300 x 320mm). The mains cord is 8.1m long and there’s a built-in hose for connecting the attachments to, which stretches to 2m.

The collection bin has a generous 1.5-litre capacity and is easily released from the chassis for emptying. It also contains the filters, which are washable in water and rated to the HEPA H13 standard.

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Hoover H-Upright 300 review: What’s it like to use?

The Hoover H-Upright 300 is a fairly basic model, with a single rotating brush in its floor head. You can switch this on and off, depending on the surface you’re cleaning; Hoover recommends you switch it off when cleaning floors and deep pile rugs.

With the brush switched off the cleaner relies on vacuum suction alone, but performance suffers in this mode when cleaning hard floors. However, it’s worth noting that you don’t get the extra bit of agitation for more stubborn dirt that you get from a soft roller on vacuums such as the Shark DuoClean with Lift-Away NV702UK.

To complicate matters slightly, there’s also a suction regulator. This is a slider that either covers or opens a grille on the top of the floor head, which helps reduce the amount of suction. This is useful if you find the head is hard to move on long-pile carpet or rugs.

The vacuum is relatively nimble, helped by its light weight and the flexible joint between the floor head and the rest of the device. However, I found the 8.1m cord slightly restrictive – with an extra metre or so, I would have been able to clean my entire ground floor without unplugging.

I also struggled with moving the vacuum from hard floor onto rugs or door mats. The front of the device is quite low to the ground and it struggled with even small changes in elevation, crumpling and pushing away the rug rather than climbing up the edge.

To use the hose and attachments, you have to disconnect the hose from the floor head. This is easily unclipped and then also needs to be freed from a retaining clip. Attachments connect on to the end of the hose or, if you want extra reach, you can release the handle from the main body and use it as an extension.

I was particularly fond of the collection bin on this model. It releases easily and emptying it is a simple job: a latch opens the door at the bottom and most dirt and dust simply drops out.

Alas, there’s no anti-hair-wrap technology on offer here and I found long hair gathering around the brush roller after using the vacuum for a while. I also found that removing the brush to clean it was trickier than with most uprights I’ve seen, as you need to release three plastic screws (which can be levered open with a coin) and use a bit of brute force to get the brush guard off. Only then can you access and remove the brush for cleaning.

Hoover H-Upright 300 review: How well does it clean?

The Hoover H-Upright 300 did a reasonable job of cleaning up our test spillages, although it was tripped up by the larger particles in our Cheerios test on hard floor. Here, it only collected 5g of a 26g spill, and simply snow-ploughed most of the debris in front of the cleaning head. It’s an annoyance but little more: unclip the suction hose and point that in the direction of the large particles and they’re soon gathered up.

On short pile carpet, there was enough grip underneath the Cheerios to allow them to pass under the front of the floor head, but there also seemed to be enough space for a few of them to be catapulted out by the aggressive brush bar. Although it looked like quite a mess, however, it only lost around 1g of the 26g spill of Cheerios this way.

The Hoover performed better with fine particles in our flour tests. Of a 50g spill, it collected 49g from the hard floor. Closer inspection revealed the remainder fell into tiny cracks. The suction on the main floor head couldn’t lift these in a single pass but the dusting tool on the end of the hose managed the final clean.

It wasn’t quite so impressive on short-pile carpet. A single pass collected 45g of a 50g spill, which left a visible dusting behind. It picked up 2g more on a second pass from another direction.

It’s a reasonably solid job for the price but the slightly more expensive Dyson Small Ball Allergy did a better job. Although it suffered the same ploughing problems with larger particles on hard floor, it was near perfect when it came to carpet, and was better with flour on all surfaces. If you have a lot of hard floor, the Shark DuoClean with Lift-Away NV702UK has both a brush and a soft roller in its floor head, so can capture anything from hard floor, even Cheerios.

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Hoover H-Upright 300 review: Should I buy it?

The Hoover H-Upright 300 is an affordable and competent upright vacuum cleaner. It undercuts competition from the likes of Shark and Dyson in terms of price, but to do so, it has had to make a few compromises that are worth taking into account.

First, the model I reviewed doesn’t come with many accessories. I’d recommend you opt for the Pet model, which comes with a better attachment for handheld jobs and doesn’t cost much more.

Second, the labelling on the device is a bit unclear. In the grand scheme of things it probably doesn’t really matter if you open or close the top vent when you’re cleaning short pile carpet and you can adjust as you see fit, but having a carpet setting that isn’t for all types of carpet is confusing.

In the end, the Hoover’s rivals are better equipped and more effective cleaners: the Dyson Small Ball Allergy has a similar design except that the extension wand is enclosed in the hose, which arguably makes it a bit trickier to get out and use. It doesn’t skimp on attachments, though, and performed better in our cleaning tests.

The best performer in our tests, however, was the Shark DuoClean with Lift-Away NV702UK. Its DuoClean floor head, which incorporates both a soft roller and a brush, make it ideal for houses with both hard floor and carpet.

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